Authorities currently reporting 200 deaths and 1,500 injured
Quito/Washington, D.C., 17 April 2016 (PAHO/WHO) — The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has mobilized emergency response experts to help the government of Ecuador respond to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 16. The earthquake left at least 200 dead and more than 1,550 injured, according to initial reports, and damaged a number of health facilities.
The quake struck at 18:58 local time in the province of Manabí, with an epicenter between Pedernales and Cojimi, and produced damages as far away as Guayaquil.
Ecuador's Ministry of Health has made a preliminary evaluation of the quake's impact on health services, has evacuated some patients, and has mobilized rapid-response health teams and mobile surgical hospitals to the most affected areas.
PAHO experts are currently on the ground in Ecuador, and members of PAHO's Regional Rapid-Response Team are travelling today to Ecuador from Washington, Panama, Colombia and Peru. They will support health authorities in areas including emergency coordination, damage and needs assessments (including health services infrastructure), water and sanitation, and coordination of emergency medical teams. Staff from PAHO's country office in Quito are also working with the country's authorities at the national level and in the health services.
PAHO continues to monitor the situation to provide additional support as needed.