Ecuador Earthquake


Ecuador was hit with a major earthquake yesterday morning, just south of Esmeraldas on the coast.  This  earthquake is estimated to have released 20 times the energy of the earlier earthquake in Japan.

ecuador earthquake

Many years ago when we first introduced Ecuador to our readers, I wrote:  There are also…like in California , earthquakes. The Andes and this region is a new geological location (in geological terms) so this area is more prone to the shakes than for example in our other home in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge which is a very ancient, very settled geological formation.

The equator is delightfully free of hurricanes and typhoons…but I guess anywhere there is a huge body of new mountains and large amounts of ocean there is some risk of natural disaster. Earthquakes are this region’s nemesis…and yes, there is earthquake insurance.

This major quake was followed by numerous  aftershocks shown at earthquake-report.com (1):

ecuador earthquake

These shocks continued for almost 7 hours.

ecuador earthquake

Click on images to enlarge.

This is not the first time that Ecuador’s coast has been hit by a double disaster of El Nino and a major earthquake.   Bahía De Caracruz is a Pacific coastal city located on a peninsula about an hour and 15 minutes north of Manta and is bordered by the Chone River.  In 1997 the “El Niño” phenomenon caused torrents of rain, flooding and washed out miles of road in, to and from Bahia and the surrounding coastal area.  Then a year later in August 1998, a strong earthquake (magnitude of seven) created a huge amount of destruction in Bahia.

Bahía had to completely reconstruct itself.  With Japanese help and funding, plus many wealthy Ecuadorians (one of Ecuador’s more successful presidents came from Bahia so it is well known in wealthy circles), Bahía rebuilt as an ecological area and has become a wonderful city.

I have written to many friends in Ecuador and have heard back from several so far.

A friend who lives in Bahia wrote: “Yes, we are OK and not in Bahia for the moment, I have very little news from our friends in Bahia; all I know is that the town has suffered a lot; Manta and Portoviejo have big damages; Pedernales is totally destroyed.”

A friend who lives in Cotacachi wrote:  “We are OK. We only felt a tremor that seemed to last a long time…no damage here in Cotacachi.”

A friend with family near Canoa wrote:  “We have gotten reports from family in Bahia and thank God we think all family are ok. But have at least a couple of friends that died.  Many buildings destroyed in Bahia, Canoa, and Pedernales. Haven’t heard anything from Coco Beach Village but not expecting it to be good.  My mother in law’s home is very badly damaged, but her other daughter and grandkids are ok. Thanks for the thoughts.”

Our friend, Kjetil Haugan, of Haugan cruises and Palmful Boutique Hotel in San Clemente wrote: “Thanks Gary.  I am in Galápagos and family in Norway.  Palmazul is OK but San Clemente badly damaged I believe.”

A friend who lives south of Manta wrote:  “Yes, we are ok, unfortunately my apartment is not so, may be unrepairable.”

Our friend Roberto Ribadeneira who lives in Quito wrote:  “Thanks Gary. Quito was not much affected.  However the coast was. Cities all around Manabi like Jama, San Clemente, Canoa, San Vicente and Manta were.  I’ll share the pictures so you can see the devastation.  Thousands are injured and to this point over 235 died. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed. This was one of the worst earthquakes in the last 25 years.

We are all trying to help by donating water and food.  Major roads are completely destroyed and the airport at Manta is heavily damaged. That has made getting the needed items to those places hard to reach.

At this point we are all waiting to see how the rescue efforts go and hope that they can save as many as possible.  I’ll send you the pics in few minutes and some news of everything that is happening later tonight.”

See a few of the images Roberto sent below.

Several readers have written offering assistance and donations. We have an account number for the Red Cross so that you can donate directly to them if you desire.

Gary

(1) earthquake-report.com strong earthquake bahia de caraquez ecuador on-april 17 2016

Click on images to enlarge

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