After the earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale and its 405 following, the North- Eastern region of the coast of Ecuador is destroyed. The cities and its people are suffering the worst disaster of their history. The officials are the following; at 8:30am on 04/19/2016: 443 deaths reported, 231 disappeared, 4027 injured, 20,503 sheltered, 805 destroyed buildings, 608 affected buildings, 146 affected schools.
Tourism in this zone has been greatly affected. Only in Pedernales, the closest city to the epicenter, had 62 hotels destroyed which together have a capacity of 2862 people. Tourism operators have cancelled d all operations to the area affected until the emergency passes. The southern coast of the country, the Sierra, Amazon and the Galapagos Islands were not affected and therefore tourism in these areas continues with normality. The principal airports are still operating normally; the roads and buildings are still intact. All people who visit the areas that are not affected will be attended as usual and there is no risk.
All of Ecuador had mobilized for the emergency; disaster relief organizations have found help in all parts of the country with an uncountable number of volunteers. Rescue teams from 9 countries are already helping in the country, 28 shelters and 30 refuges are currently running.
This is a critical moment for Ecuador. International aid has been felt, but it is important to inform tourists and the entire world that they come visit Ecuador. The Galapagos, Amazon and the Andes are completely functioning and there is no risk from the earthquake on the coast, movement in the country and infrastructure continues as normal.
All of the parks, natural and public tourism reserves throughout the country were closed for 24 hours with the purpose of conducting inspections and to evaluate the possible damages to the infrastructure. Once is confirmed that they were safe, operations began to run normally.
“Our thoughts and prayers and with the families that have lost loved ones”, said Fernando Alvarado, Minister of Tourism of Ecuador. “Ecuadorians are a resistant people and hard working and they are united to help their fellow compatriots in this time of need. We are looking ahead and count on the great collaboration of our partners and friends around the world to help reconstruct the areas affected throughout the coast of Ecuador and restore tourism. The visitors that come to Ecuador or that plan to visit the zones that have not been affected can do so, with all certainty that their trip will not be affected and that they can feel safe to continue with their plans to visit our country.”
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