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NEW YORK/ GENEVA/PANAMA CITY/QUITO/HONG KONG, 19 April 2016 – At least 150,000 children are affected by the April 15 earthquake in Ecuador, according to initial UNICEF estimates.
“We are in a race against time to protect children from disease and other risks common in such emergencies,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador.
According to preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools, affecting 88,000 children. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone.
In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 per cent of communication lines are working.
UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya.
UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas, two of the hardest hit areas, assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response.
Ms Jane Lau, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF said, “Earthquake of this size can be deadly, toppling buildings, and destroying roads and infrastructure. In a major emergency such as this one, every minute counts.UNICEF is now working closely with the Government of Ecuador to respond to this natural disaster. We’re calling on Hong Kong people to support our relief work to help the affected children and their families.”
To help quake-affected children and families in Ecuador, please make online donation at unicef.org.hk/en/donate.
Donation for Ecuador earthquake:
Bank of China: 012-875-1-081085-5
Wing Lung Bank : 020-601-003-7635-2
Bank of East Asia: 015-260-81-01210-0
(In the unusual event that donations for Ecuador earthquake exceed the needs, we will direct your gift to disaster or emergency relief actions elsewhere.)