A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Ecuador at 6:58 PM local time on April 16, 2016. The Government of Ecuador has a declared a national state of emergency for six heavily affected provinces, including Esmeraldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas, and Santo Domingo.
The worst earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades has killed more than 570 people and left 7,000 others injured. Some 155 people are official registered as missing, while up to 1,700 people reportedly remain unaccounted for. As of April 20, the Government of Ecuador documented that more than 1,100 buildings were destroyed and another 800 were damaged. More than 530 aftershocks have been recorded since April 16, including ones that were 6.1 and 6.0 in magnitude.
"International Medical Corps stands with the people of Ecuador following this tragedy, and we are deploying additional staff to scale up our support for earthquake relief efforts," said Chris Skopec, Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response at International Medical Corps. "We are committed to supporting the Government of Ecuador and our local partners to deliver medical care and other relief to survivors as well as work with communities to rebuild and recover."
International Medical Corps will directly support local actors and local efforts to improve health-related outcomes following the affects of this earthquake. Assessment findings will illustrate the most immediate needs to address first and International Medical Corps will emphasize restoring disaster-affected communities to self-reliance for the long-term.