On April 16 at 6:58pm local time, an earthquake registering 7.8 magnitude struck off Ecuador’s central coast at a depth of 19 kilometres, causing widespread damage. The epicentre of the quake was about 28 kilometres from the northwestern town of Muisne and 173 kilometres from Quito. The Government of Ecuador has declared a State of Emergency for six provinces: Esmeraldas, Manabí, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo y Los Ríos.
As of 20 April 15.30 CET and according to the National Secretariat for Risk Management, 525 people have been reported dead, 163 missing and 7,015 wounded. 1,125 buildings have been destroyed, another 608 have been affected, in addition to 281 school buildings. 23,506 people are currently in emergency shelters.
The Ecuadorian provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, Los Ríos, Santo Domingo y Santa Elena have reported a widespread loses including destroyed homes, collapsed buildings and bridges, damages to local airports and power infrastructure, though work is already underway to restore power and telecommunications
An estimated 10,000 survivors are children under the age of 5 that have been affected by the earthquake, and may require early relief, wound management and psychosocial support.
So far, there have been 568 measured aftershocks since the initial seismic event.
Later today the IFRC will launch an emergency appeal seeking 18,350,836 Swiss Francs ($19,061,400 USD) to assist 100,000 people over the coming 12 months in the following areas:
· Health and care
· Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion
· Community disaster preparedness and risk reduction
· Strengthening the Red Cross in Ecuador’s institutional preparedness for future disasters
The first relief flight arrived in-country yesterday, carrying 65 tons of Red Cross relief items for immediate distribution to affected communities, see below infographic.