On April 16, Ecuador suffered an earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale. One week later, the death toll stood at 656, with more than twelve thousand injuries reported and more than fifty people still missing. Hundreds of aftershocks, some very powerful, continue to shake the country’s northwest coast and cause more damage.
The day after the disaster, aid began arriving from Ecuador’s Latin American neighbors: Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia. Quick responses were crucial, as hundreds of people were still missing, many trapped in crumbling rubble.
Cuba sent 53 medical personnel, in addition to the more than two hundred Cuban doctors already on the ground in Ecuador. Three Cuban doctors died in a building that collapsed. Mexico sent a rescue team. Even tiny Honduras offered an aid worker.