OTTAWA, April 17, 2016 /CNW/ - The Red Cross is providing emergency assistance following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck in the province of Esmeraldas, on the coast of Ecuador, causing widespread damage. Canadians are encouraged to help support emergency response efforts by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross.
"This earthquake struck an area close to the highly populated capital of Quito, and we know that emergency relief including, shelter, water and healthcare are urgently needed," says Hossam Elsharkawi, Associate Vice President, International Operations for the Canadian Red Cross. "Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from the Ecuadorian Red Cross are providing first aid, supporting search and rescue efforts and conducting rapid assessments to identify the need for additional aid."
The earthquake has caused damage to roads, bridges have collapsed and electricity has been affected. Dozens of people have died and hundreds are injured, with more fatalities and injuries expected in the hours to come.
The Red Cross has limited stocks of emergency relief items available in Esmeraldas that are ready to be distributed. Additional relief materials will be brought in from within the region, where the Canadian Red Cross has a presence.
"The Red Cross is the world's largest disaster aid organization, with support from volunteers and citizens around the world," adds Elsharkawi. "In times of need, such as this earthquake, we are able to mobilize our global resources and channel help into the affected area."
Canadians are encouraged to support people affected by this disaster by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Ecuador Earthquake Appeal at www.redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.
About the Canadian Red Cross
Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 190 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and throughout the world.
SOURCE Canadian Red Cross
For further information: Canadian Red Cross media line, 1-877-599-9602; Quebec media can call 1-888-418-9111