Ecuador’s coastal regions have been destroyed by the force of the earthquake, leaving some towns in complete ruin.
At least 235 people have been killed and 1,550 injured as a result of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake registered Saturday night, according to official estimates.
The death toll, however, is likely to rise as rescue operations have faced complications due to landslides in remote regions of the country.
Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute reported the epicenter was the coastal province of Esmeraldas.
Any help is welcomed, as entire families are facing long nights outside of their homes or searching for their relatives.
As the number of victims and injured keeps raising on the coast of Ecuador as an aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Ecuadorean coast hardest on Saturday night, local and regional support has started to organize. But with the devastating consequences of the earthquake, any help is welcomed.
The authorities have started to organize support across the country. The National Assembly posted on Twitter a list of useful items to send to the devastated areas, such as first aid medicine, canned food, bottles of water, mattresses, tents, and mosquito nets. The government sent about 10,000 members of the country’s Armed Forces to the devastated areas. They brought about 50,000 gallons of water to Pedernales, a small coastal village reported to be about 70 percent destroyed, and transported several injured from one city to another so they could receive medical attention.
Besides governmental action, a list of organizations have set up platforms in order to organize international solidarity: the Ecuadorean branch of the Red Cross, the Ecuadorean Unicef, the local group Global Shapers in Quito, the Ecuadorean Ministry of Risk Management, the U.S. branch of the Unicef and Oxfam International.
With the hashtag #DesaparecidosEC (Disappeared in Ecuador), people have also launched a campaign to research their relatives and friends, as telecommunications and electricity supplies have not been reestablished yet. The government launched a People Locator online, as well as on Facebook, Skype and Google.
“Google Personal Finder: I am looking for someone / I have information about someone.”
Many families remain in the streets as they fear going back to their home with the possibility of aftershocks, like the 6.1 magnitude one that struck the Ecuadorean coast around 2 a.m last night.
Since Saturday night, messages of solidarity have come from around the globe, including most Latin American leaders, while Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador and Colombia have sent rescue teams to the Ecuadorean coast. But support also came from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who called President Rafael Correa directly, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others.
“In Russia we share the pain and sorrow of those who lost relatives and loved ones in the catastrophe, and we wish a prompt recovery for all the people affected,” Putin said in a telegram.