Hundreds dead and death toll likely to rise
ATLANTA — (April 17, 2016) A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador on Saturday killing more than 250 people and injuring hundreds more.
CARE’s humanitarian workers on the ground in Ecuador are on high alert and are working quickly to assess the situation. CARE has worked in Ecuador since 1962. CARE’s past work in Ecuador has included an emergency response to severe floods in 2008.
The death toll from Saturday’s quake will most likely rise as it’s been difficult to reach the most-heavily impacted regions by air or road, CARE staff warned.
“There are some places where we don’t have access, so we still don’t have the real number of victims,” explained Doris Guerra, CARE’s financial and organizational support manager in Ecuador. “They’re still removing rubble, so we could find more.”
The greatest needs are food, shelter, water as well as gloves and machinery for rescue workers.
For many in the Latin American country, the earthquake is the largest disaster they’ve ever experienced. “Many people are missing. Others are out in the street, without shelter and looking for family members. It’s absolutely terrible.”
CARE is sending in emergency teams to reinforce its response in Ecuador, where CARE has a staff of 21 people.
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Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.