MAY 02, 2016 5:24 AM PDT

The aftermath of Ecuador's earthquake


Ecuador is still reeling from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the country two Saturdays ago. States of emergency were declared for the provinces of Esmeraldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas and Santo Domingo. The quake was strongly felt in country's capital, Quito, about around 100 miles away.

A smaller 4.5-magnitude quake was recorded along the coast south of Muisne about a half-hour before the magnitude-7.8 quake struck, the USGS said. At least 135 aftershocks followed, one as strong as a magnitude-6, and authorities urged residents to brace for even stronger ones in the following hours and days.
Ecuador is struggling to cope with the aftermath of the deadly earthquake
Ecuador was sent into a state of panic with this quake, which is the biggest that the country has faced since 1979. At the time immediately following the quake and the beginning of rescue attempts, President Rafael Correa posted on Twitter, "Thank you to the whole world for solidarity. Our infinite love to the families of the dead."

Later, after visiting the coastal city of Manta to see the damage Correa said: "The immediate priority is to rescue people in the rubble. Everything can be rebuilt, but lives cannot be recovered, and that's what hurts the most."
 
Six out of every 10 Ecuadorian women have been victims of some form of violence. With conditions worse from the earthquake, women are even more at risk. Furthermore, economic opportunities for women are limited - only about half of all Ecuadorian women have a wage or salaried job.
But now almost a week and a half has passed and the rest of the world has seemed to move on to more pressing news media, while Ecuadorians are left struggling. With over 650 deaths, thousands injured, homes completely devastated, and rations on food and water, the tension is rising high. People are lining up desperate for food and water and frustrated with the inefficient distribution of rations by authorities while authorities are racing to maintain the calm and organize such a disaster involving so many people.

In response to begin the multi-billion dollar reconstruction from all of the infrastructural damage, Correa stated on Wednesday that Ecuador will temporarily increase some taxes, sell assets, and may issue new bonds on the international market.


Sources: NBC News, Reuters
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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