Ecuador has experienced a 7.8-magnitude earthqake on Saturday, April 16, at 18:58. The epicenter, off the pacific coast, affected mainly coastal areas. Population centers in the highlands, such as the capital Quito still received tremors but to a much lesser degree.
Mauricio Rodas Espinel, mayor of Quito, has informed the public the earthquake affected 6 dwellings in the city, 3 of them in the Southern district, which is outside the traditional tourist areas. 16 people have been evacuated to municipal shelters. At this time, damage of patrimonial spaces in Quito’s Historical District Center is being evaluated.
The international airport, Quito’s Mariscal Sucre airport, is fine. The Crisis Coordination Committee of Quito’s Mariscal Sucre airport has already conducted an assessment of the airport infrastructure and given it a clean bill of health. Flights are operating normally out of Quito, but other airports may be experiencing suspensions and delays. Tourists are asked to contact their airline and to keep informed of the status of their flights. The Twitter account @AeropuertoUIO has continuous updates.
The Municipality of Quito has sent 120 first responders including paramedics, rescue workers and emergency personnel to the affected coastal areas. Additionally, ambulances, fire engines, and support machinery will be sent to aid those in need.
Quito itself is safe. The city’s public services: water, power, telephone service, internet service, and public transportation, are functioning normally. In an abundance of caution, and purely as a preventive measure, the mayor of Quito has ordered the suspension of all pubic spectacles and venues including movie theaters, entertainment centers, coliseums, dance clubs, etc., for the next 72 hours. Tourist venues, located mainly in La Mariscal and the Historical District center, are functioning on a partial basis as a result of the State of Emergency. While tourism operations within Quito’s urban area are functioning relatively normally, some museums and tourist sites in the Historical District will not be open.
Mayor Rodas (@mauriciorodasec) has urged locals and visitors to remain calm in the face of potential aftershocks, and to stay informed from official sources; to have an emergency kit ready, and to be aware of the safety and meeting points designated for emergencies. If you are a visitor to Quito, you’re asked to stay in touch with your hotel and embassy to receive instructions and official information: www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/noticias www.quito.gob.ec www.quito-turismo.gob.ec
The public and private sectors are pooling efforts to help those affected in the coastal population centers.. The Municipality of Quito welcomes donations of non-perishable food items, clothing and blankets, and will ensure they’re delivered to the affected areas Delivery points include: Patronato San José (Chile and Benalcazar Streets),Carolina Park, churches of the Metropolitan District, Tribuna del Sur (Rostrum of the city’s South), and the Quorum Convention Center.
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