All photos are by Eduardo Naranjo for Catholic Relief Services
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake turned communities like La Chorrera to rubble when it struck on the evening of April 18th. More than 650 lost their lives and an additional 4,605 were injured. It’s estimated that 1.2 million people were affected.
More than 51,000 sought medical care. Nine hospitals were severely damaged and rendered temporarily non-operational. Caritas responded by providing hygiene kits to help families protect themselves against the spread of disease.
Access to safe water is of critical concern in the aftermath of an emergency. Caritas partners worked with the local government to help repair the water systems in affected communities.
Many lost their livelihoods along with their homes. The Church has set up listening centers to help people process trauma and grief. Over the course of the next 12 months the Church will help Ecuador heal by helping to provide: support with food, psycho-social and spiritual support, shelter reconstruction, and livelihoods support.
Plastic tarps have been distributed to help families build temporary shelter that can give them more privacy. It will also help protect them from the wind and rain. Shelter experts from various Caritas partner organizations have been dispatched to help come up with longer-term shelter solutions.
The people of Ecuador have generously worked to help uplift those who have lost their homes and loved ones but more is still needed. The president has estimated that the cost of rebuilding might be as high as $3 billion. Caritas has issued an emergency appeal to help affected families.