Earthquake Strikes in Ecuador: Full Impact of Damage Still Unclear

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador on Saturday killing nearly 300 people and injuring hundreds more.

CARE’s emergency teams in Ecuador are assessing the damage caused by the massive earthquake. Additional experts on water, sanitation and shelter are on standby and ready to be deployed to the disaster zone.

The death toll from Saturday’s quake will most likely rise as it's been difficult to reach the most-heavily impacted regions by air or road, CARE staff warned.

“There are some places where we don't have access, so we still don't have the full number of those affected,” said Doris Guerra, CARE's financial and organizational support manager in Ecuador. “They're still removing rubble, so we could find more.”

The greatest needs are food, shelter, water as well as gloves and machinery for rescue workers.

For many in the Latin American country, the earthquake is the largest disaster they've ever experienced.

“Many people are missing. Others are out in the street, without shelter and looking for family members. It's absolutely terrible,” said Guerra.

CARE is sending in emergency teams to reinforce its response in Ecuador, where CARE has a staff of 21 people.

CARE has been working in Ecuador for over 50 years. CARE’s programs have focused on helping poor communities through health and sanitation, education, forestry and women’s empowerment programs. CARE’s past work in Ecuador has included an emergency response to severe floods in 2008.


Media contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | 613.790.2134

In an emergency, a quick response saves lives. To donate to CARE’s Emergency Response Fund, visit