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Red Cross responds after destructive earthquake in Ecuador

Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers are helping survivors of a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador.

Monday April 18, 2016

Red Cross volunteers unload relief goods for distribution in Ecuador - Photo: Ecuadorian Red Cross

More than 800 volunteers and staff from Ecuadorian Red Cross are providing first aid, ambulance and rescue services following the earthquake, which has killed over 230 people and left more than 1,500 injured.

Search and rescue operations are underway for survivors, with many buildings collapsed, damaged or destroyed in the affected areas in the north west of Ecuador.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck in the evening, 16 April. A state of emergency has been declared. Roads have been badly damaged, bridges have collapsed and power supplies have been affected.

Search and rescue teams are working around the clock in the affected provinces, including Esmeraldas, Manabi, Portoviejo and Guayaquil.

Ecuadorian Red Cross has also sent health teams and mobile hospital units, providing urgent medical care, first aid and personal support to help people cope after the traumatic quake.

Walter Cotte, the Americas Regional Director for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it was a terrible day for the people of Ecuador. "Our international network is giving the Ecuadorian Red Cross all support to respond to this terrible disaster," he said.

Red Cross has pre-positioned disaster relief supplies in Ecuador to help after crises like this.

"Depending on the number of health facilities affected there may also be urgent needs around maternal and obstetric care. We should also expect urgent needs around food, water, sanitation and shelter," said Cotte.

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