A deadly 7.8 earthquake has struck Ecuador. A national emergency has been declared and the death toll is climbing fast. CARE teams are already mobilizing.

It’s a race against time to get help to those who need it

CARE’s emergency teams in Ecuador are assessing the damage caused by the massive earthquake.

Earthquake in Ecuador

A powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador on April 17, 2016, at 6:58pm local time on Saturday, lasting for about a minute, and was centred approximately 105 miles north-west of the capital Quito. The death toll is in the hundreds and is expected to rise. More than 2,500 are reported to have been injured. The coastal province of Manabi (Ma-na-bi) was hardest hit. The cities of Manta, Portoviejo (Pohto-yeho) and Pedernales (Perder-nah-les), a tourist destination, saw the most devastation but damage was widespread throughout the country.

About CARE's Work in Ecuador

CARE has worked in Ecuador since 1962. 

CARE’s programs have focused on helping poor communities through health and sanitation, education, forestry and women’s empowerment programs. CARE’s past work in Ecuador has included an emergency response to severe floods in 2008.

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Latest Updates on Ecuador Earthquake

The devastating ‪‎earthquake‬ in Ecuador is believed to be the one of the most powerful since the 1970s. CARE's emergency teams are on the ground to provide relief.

It’s a race against time to get help to those who need it
CARE’s emergency teams in Ecuador are assessing the damage caused by the massive earthquake. Additional experts on water, sanitation and shelter are on standby and ready to be deployed to the disaster zone. It is vital for assessments to be completed as quickly as possible to ensure aid is delivered in the most effective and efficient way possible.

The greatest needs are food, shelter and water
Rescue teams are still desperately searching for signs of life amid the rubble. Survivors will need basic assistance such as food, water and shelter. We also know from previous natural disasters like the Haiti earthquake in 2010 that it can take many years for communities to recover. Affected communities will likely need long-term support.

The full scale of this disaster is still not clear
The death toll stands in the hundreds and is expected to rise. The earthquake reduced buildings to rubble, toppled power lines and sent terrified residents running from their homes when it struck. Search and rescue teams continue to search for survivors. And it will be days, if not weeks, before we know the exact scale of this disaster.

This is one of the worst disasters many in Ecuador have ever experienced  
CARE staff in Ecuador say this is the largest disaster they’ve ever experienced, describing the situation as absolutely terrible. It has been reported that it was the deadliest earthquake to hit the country since a magnitude 6.8 tremor in March 1987 claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.

Donate now to help CARE deliver lifesaving earthquake relief to Ecuador and respond to urgent needs around the world.

The work we do in Ecuador

Child Poverty

Half of all children live in poverty, spending their formative years struggling to survive.  

Youth Empowerment

Addressing the needs of the 1.8 billion young people in the world is critical to ending poverty.

Girls' Education

The majority of the 57 million children out of school are girls — their future is at risk.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Family planning is a proven strategy in reducing maternal mortality.


Poverty is both a cause and consequence of HIV and AIDS.

Poverty & Social Justice

Everyone in the world has the right to a life free from poverty, violence and discrimination.

Maternal Health

Hundreds of thousands of women die in pregnancy and childbirth, mostly from preventable causes.


By failing to close the gender gap in agriculture, the world is paying dearly.

Climate Change

Climate change threatens the very survival of people living in poverty all over the world.

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive and yet least-recognized human rights abuses.

Why Women & Girls?

Why does CARE fight global poverty by focusing on women and girls? Because we have to.