May 2016 – ECUADOR – A magnitude 6.7 magnitude earthquake has struck Ecuador. According to the US Geographical Survey, the quake’s epicenter was 36 miles south of the city of Esmeraldas, at a depth of 6.2 miles. A destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement.
There was no report of significant damage, but electricity was cut in some coastal areas. However, people ran into the streets as far away as the highland capital Quito, according to witnesses, suggesting fears over earthquakes remain strong. President Rafael Correa said the epicenter was the fishing village of Mompiche on the Pacific coast, and only some “small damages” had been caused.
“All quiet,” he tweeted. “[People from] Quito can return to their homes.” A national emergency committee had been convened but is due to be deactivated, the president said. In April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country in one of Ecuador’s worst disasters for nearly seven decades. It killed more than 650 people and injured around 16,600. –Independent
Slow recovery from April earthquake: Up to 100 babies on average are born every day in Esmeraldas and Manabí, the provinces worst hit by the April 7.8 magnitude Ecuador earthquake, UNICEF said today. “In a region where 1 in 5 children suffer from diarrhea and chronic malnutrition, it is essential to provide these babies with the basic needs to survive and thrive,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador. The April 16 earthquake killed 660 people, destroyed water systems and affected 33 health centres, half of which are not operational. The earthquake also damaged or destroyed some 560 schools and close to 10,000 buildings.
An immediate response led by the Government is allowing 75 per cent of children to return to school and providing an integrated response to over 30,000 people living in official shelters, including basic assistance, medical and psychological support. With support from UNICEF, access to safe water was restored in Jama and Pedernales, the two worst hit towns by the earthquake. However, one month on, thousands more people are staying in informal shelters which lack basic services and 120,000 children are in urgent need of temporary educational spaces. –Unicef