As we all know, an earthquake of 7.8 degrees on the Richter scale devastated this Saturday night much of Ecuador’s land, and has caused a still unpredictable tragedy. More than 400 people have died, 2,500+ have been wounded, and a number of people in the country is still missing.
Information from “El País” newspaper:
It was 18.58 local time when the earth shook in the northwest of the country, in the coastal province of Esmeraldas, bordering southern Colombia. The quake, the worst in the last three decades in Ecuador, was felt throughout the country. The epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 20 kilometers, 28 of the Ecuadorian coast and 173 of the capital, Quito. Nearly 200 aftershocks, some with an intensity of up to 6.1 degrees, have occurred since then, and could still feel over the next three days. This is one of the worst earthquakes that has undergone Latin America in the last decade, after which struck in 2007 to Peru (almost 600 dead) and in 2010 to Chile (more than 150 deaths) and the disaster in Haiti that same year, with more than 300,000 dead.
We are new receiving some initial news from the Vincentian Family in Ecuador. Although still sketchy, the information we have is that, apart from damage to facilities, no human casualties are known in the Vincentian Family. Fr. Chuno Chavez Alva CM, reports:.. “On Saturday I contacted the seminarians living in Tabacundo, and they are well; I also contacted their parents and those who have been most affected, near the epicenter, on the coast. I only have reports of damaged properties.”
The Daughters of Charity are reporting the same: only material damage. We do not know anything about the situation of other branches of the Vincentian Family.
Let us pray for all those affected by the natural disaster, killed and injured, and their families. We hope that soon the situation will improve and, with the help of all, the reconstruction work wil begin soon. We are sure that the Vincentian Family in the country will be ready to help with it.