Updated: 19 April 18:15 GMT
An emergency appeal from the United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which reminds us:
The aim is to rapidly provide essential shelter and other aid material over the next days for some 40,000 people – refugees, asylum seekers and locals alike – in earthquake-affected communities. Ecuador is the biggest refugee-hosting country in Latin America. It’s people have generously welcomed over 200,000 Colombian refugees and others in need of international protection, many of whom had settled in the earthquake-affected areas.
UNHCR is committed to helping Ecuador and it’s people with support for refugee and host community populations.
Updated: 18 April 19:45 GMT
Another way to help: a friend from Jama suggests this Go Fund Me assistance effort where items will be personally delivered.
A few more updates I’ve collected since yesterday’s post (below) via Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook safety checks are becoming a little disconcerting. And informative.
This morning the notifications sounded the status of friends in Ecuador and Colombia. That’s how I was introduced to the news about the 7.8 magnitude quake that shook Ecuador’s northwest Pacific coast whose epicenter was just north of Pedernales, a coastal city about 50 kilometers north of Jama where I spent several days in 2013. I have friends who live there but both were elsewhere this weekend. I hope they and their families are OK.
According to most reports, the damage is far reaching. The death toll from the quake, which was felt throughout Ecuador, has risen to at least 235 as of this afternoon, with more than 1,500 injured. The Guardian has a good regularly updated summary on the situation in the country.
From some images I found, it appears that Jama, a community of about 20,000 has been hit especially hard. Several are included below.
I’m sure there are many ways those from outside of the region can help. I found one organization, the Ceiba Foundation, which works with poor communities in the area, that will funnel donations directly to this area. More about their efforts is here.
17 April 21:00 GMT.
— Ana Torres (@Anitaelitorres) April 17, 2016
— Kleber Aranda (@kleberaranda1) April 17, 2016
— Xavier Castro (@XavierCastroTC) April 17, 2016
— Sol SVilela BDP (@solsvilela) April 17, 2016
And from the Ceiba Foundation’s appeal.
We’ve raised $9,185 in just a few hours of having this Ecuador Relief Fund open! That will go a long way towards… https://t.co/PwKaQPwEcT
— Finca Mono Verde (@GreenMonkeyFarm) April 17, 2016
And for the record, the lead photo, which serves as the site’s 835th straight Pic du Jour, was snapped in La Mocora, a small settlement in the hills about 45 minutes east of Jama, on 22 May 2013. It was a peaceful afternoon.