Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador (EUMCE) Earthquake Update

Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador (EUMCE) Earthquake Update


On Saturday April 16, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the central and northern coastal areas of Ecuador. The Ecuadorean government has now (Friday April 22) confirmed over 602 deaths; 12,492 wounded with 130 persons still missing as a result of the earthquake. There are approx. 25,000.00 displaced persons from the affected region, some 7,000 buildings destroyed and 2,740 buildings and 280 schools damaged.  The rescue work is still very important and volunteer teams from Ecuador and neighboring countries are working 24 hours a day. In towns near the epicenter, such as Manta and Portoviejo and small towns such as Pedernales, the destruction was extensive, the work now is to rescue bodies, the odor and contamination are a dangerous risk for public health; but families are still looking and waiting for loved ones to give them a humane and dignified burial. The Ecuadorian people are coming together in solidarity to send donations, but also going to the region to deliver aid personally.

From these cities and from small rural villages around Calceta, Chone, El Carmen, and Santo Domingo many families that lost or had serious damage to their homes are now are moving to the small cities. Many are living with relatives or in friend’s homes or in temporary shelters such as schools, churches and community centers. Many families prefer to stay close to their homes to take care of animals and property. The needs for water, food, shelter and hygiene kits are still the priorities.

Many Methodists are actively looking for friends and neighbors and helping in their communities. The churches are delivering emergency family kits that include nonperishable food, water and clothes. Some of the Methodist churches are now traveling to the coast to take donations and check on families and churches. The church volunteers are also holding trainings to offer emotional and spiritual support to the affected families and communities - this is an important vocation that the church can provide in this situation.
The future tasks include equipping temporary shelters with basic mattresses, blankets, and bathrooms in churches and community facilities; and helping to build new homes or repair damaged homes. This will take many months and years.     
Many Methodist Bishops and leaders were in touch with our Bishop, Rev. Cevallos, and expressed their love and solidarity.

Personnel from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already helping us with the emergency relief project to help us to help the population, first with food and family kits and in the near future with other projects for sanitation, hygiene kits and more. We ask God for wisdom, strength and love to help our sisters and brothers, many of whom have lost everything.  We need to help them keep hope, knowing that God is our refuge and strength we will continue to share his love and mercy.  
May God bless everyone there, keep us in your prayers.
Sara Flores & Dakin Cook, UMC Missionaries
Please Support: United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) 
Disaster Response, International.  Advance #982450
If you want to send donations directly to the EUMCE account or communicate with us, please write to Sara Flores at: ssdd16@hotmail.com