Ecuador Emergency Earthquake Aid
Organized by: Taylor Diers
Ecuador Emergency Earthquake Aid - Our Focus is on Feeding Small Children
April 21, 2016
Event Name: Help Support Ecuador Earthquake Relief
EVENT DATE Apr 16, 2016
Ecuador Emergency Earthquake Aid
Our Focus is on Feeding Small Children
What Is Needed?
We wanted to find out what is most urgently needed by the earthquake victims... what shortages exist that haven't yet been addressed.
Thus, after Tarqui, we visited the Manta General Hospital Rafael Rodriguez Zambrano. According to Ali Cevallos at the hospital, hundreds of people came in for treatment over the weekend, 400-500 people Saturday night alone. Due to the significant demand, tents were set up for treating the masses, many of which are children.
Cevallos indicates that the government contingency plan is providing many essentials to the hospital, such as water and medicine. However, he says that there is a serious need for shelters. Cevallos claims that people have nowhere to go once released, since many homes have been destroyed and many more are unsafe. He also indicates that people need dishes and cooking supplies, as many are now living under makeshift conditions and don't have proper ways to prepare food.
We have friends locally who are gathering household item donations and delivering them. If you are in the area and can donate household items or assist in the effort to get donations, please get in touch with us. If you have access to space in the area that could be used as a shelter, please also contact us. If you are able to volunteer time for organizing either of these efforts, please let us know right away.
Cevallos further explained that there is a strong need for coffins. At an area cemetery and morgue, tough decisions are being made about whether to bury bodies individually or in common graves. We are in the process of getting contact information for the cemetery for anyone who would like to donate directly. However, please contact us if you would like the information sent to you.
As for hospital supplies, Cevallos says the most urgently needed is baby formula. There is a very high risk of children becoming dehydrated and malnourished, and the risk is greatest for toddlers in the first six months of life. Cevallos indicated proper nutrition is vital at this age for children to develop normally, but, unfortunately supplies are too limited to properly care for the little patients.
Cevallos further suggested that we speak with the local aid distribution center to find out more about urgent needs. Therefore, we drove to the Coliseum where the distribution center has been set up to help families. Fortunately the center is helping hundreds of people. However, supplies are limited and whole families are standing in line up to 3-4 hours in the hot sun to receive enough basic groceries to last just 2 days. At the center we learned that, in addition to formula, baby diapers are in extreme shortage.
How Can We Help?
Given the situations we witnessed in Tarqui, the hospital, and the aid distribution center, Boris and I believe that he and I can make the strongest impact by organizing donations for baby formula first and foremost, and diapers, second.
Formula will be acquired in bulk and provided to the hospital and aid distribution center. We were provided with the following list of formulas. Ages 0-6 months is our top priority:
Enfamil 1 (0-6 months) **
Enfamil 2 (6-12 months)
Enfamil 3 (1-3 years)
Enfamil Comfort (for allergies or colic)
Isomil 1 (0-12 months) for diarrhea
Isomil 2 (over 1 year) for diarrhea
Similac 1 (0-6 months) **
Similac 2 (6-12 months)
Similac 3 (1-3 years)
Nan Pro 1 (1-6 months) **
Nan Pro 2 (6-12 months)
Nan Pro 3 (1-3 years)
Nan Lactose Free for diarrhea
Nan AR for Acid Reflux
Pediasure (over 1 year) Nutritional Supplement
If you've read this far, please know that any and all help you can provide is essential and would be truly appreciated. Even if all you can do is spread the word through social media, your contribution is important and will help others live more comfortably.
Additionally, we would like to find additional volunteer coordinators to aid in addressing the need for household donations and/or shelters. If you have strong organizational skills or strong contacts who can help with such donations, please contact us immediately.
We realize that there are many organizations who are helping address the needs of the Ecuadorean people. However, according to the hospital and distribution center here in Manta, those needs have not yet been met.
Therefore, if you can help in any way, let's take the bull by the horns and make an impact for Ecuadorean people in need.
Thank you for your time and any assistance you can provide.
Many people are now homeless in Ecuador, around 20,000. Many more are afraid to be in their homes as they aren't safe. People are living on the streets right in front of the homes that were once so sacred to them.
As heavy equipment and cleanup crews are finally able to get in and clear away fallen buildings, many more bodies are being found. The death toll has now risen to 525 with over 4,600 people injured.
In the area near us, Tarqui and Portoviejo seem to be the hardest hit. Yesterday Boris and I visited Tarqui, normally a lively, bustling marketplace abuzz with hawkers pushing their wares and shoppers toting young children and grocery bags.
Tarqui is now a disaster... a war zone.
The streets are filled with heavy equipment, clean up crews, and people trying to pick through the fragments of their lives.
People line the streets and damaged bridges to watch the effort.
Complete buildings are askew or leveled. Dump trucks carry huge piles of debris to the beach for dumping. It could take years for people to recover from this level of destruction.
Fortunately, there were many workers delivering water and making notes as they moved through the area. In addition, President Rafael Correa rode past us with his caravan.
It seems that a significant amount of attention is being placed on aiding Tarqui in its recovery, so we looked on to find out where we could be of the most assistance locally.
Please read our next post to find out what we learned and how you can help. Please donate anything you can. We are currently in the process of determining whether physical goods can be donated in the U.S. and shipped to Ecuador. Until we know if we can do that, please help by contributing money. Any amount will be helpful. Please know that all contributions will make a difference.
Thank you for any contributions or assistance that you make.
Ecuador Earthquake Disaster
April 16, 2016
Juan was enjoying a balmy Saturday evening. Dinner with his family. Lively chatter at the table as his 5-year old son teased his older sister. He heard music playing off in the distance. The smell of homemade cooking filled the air. His wife was setting his favorite chicken dish on the table.
Suddenly, the lights were swaying. His chair started moving. Pictures and glasses began falling off the shelves. The lights began sparkling like fire crackers. Then the room went dark.
He heard screaming coming from the streets. He was in shock.
He tried to stand up but couldn't find his feet. He fell to the ground pulling himself along the table, dragging himself, pushing on chairs. His children had started crying. He heard the house creaking and screeching as metal and glass bent and shattered, and pots and pans tumbled to the ground.
He grabbed his crying son and daughter and yelled to his wife to get out. He clambered his way toward the front door, half climbing over objects, half holding on to furniture, yelling at his family all the while. A bookshelf crashed just behind them, throwing a vase across the floor. It shattered. His daughter screamed.
All he could think of is getting his family out. He reached the door, but it wouldn't budge. It was jammed. He anxiously pulled on it. Lifted it, shoved it. Things were crashing to the floor near him. The screeching metal got louder and the ceiling started to cave in. He continued jerking on the door, pushing it every which way. Yanking it. Finally, it flew open.
He pushed his family out and they tumbled into the street, scrambling, trying to avoid things crashing down around them. In the streets, electric cables were flying. Street lights were swaying and sparking. People yelling. The ground continued moving... a strange and violent sensation stronger than he had ever felt - ever imagined.
Finally, the shaking slowed. But his house was crumbling before him. Bits and pieces continued to fall, almost as if in slow motion. Almost as if he could do something. Stop it somehow. But as he watched, his home slowly turned into a pile of rubble, a shell of what it once was. His life crashing...
But next door he heard cries coming from the rubble. The Jimenez family didn't get out in time. He ran to help and started pulling debris from the pile. Shouting for others in the street to help. People began moving bricks and rocks. Calling out to the people trapped, "We're coming. We're going to get you out."
This is the scene of Ecuador over the weekend. The people on the coast of Ecuador are now struggling. Many are without homes, without anything to eat or a way to cook, without water.
In the homes that are still standing, most have no electricity or other services. They worry that their homes will continue falling down, so they're sleeping on the streets out front. Many have been injured. Many have lost loved ones.
Boris and I have decided to help people, as many as we can. Please donate so we can provide food, cooking supplies, medical supplies, and even coffins, so the dead can have a proper burial.
Today we are going to hospitals and around town to find out what all is needed. Please check in again. We will be providing updates of what is going on and how you can help.