A Month and Another Earthquake Later, Ecuador Still Needs Your Help

Lead Photo: Karla Morales Rosales
Karla Morales Rosales
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Update, May 18 at 4:22 p.m.: A second earthquake struck Ecuador on May 18. Though authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage from the 6.8-magnitude quake, it’s been reported that one person died and at least 87 have been injured, according to USA Today.

A month after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Ecuador’s northwestern coast and killed more than 650 people, another quake has hit the country. On early Wednesday, a 6.7-magnitude temblor shook western Ecuador, according to the New York Times.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center didn’t issue a tsunami warning, and on Twitter, President Rafael Correa reported no immediate damage or casualties. “Areas of Manabí and Esmeraldas are partially without power, but it is coming back,” he said in another tweet.

Though the second earthquake may not have as severe an impact, Ecuador is still reeling from the April 16 natural disaster, which is the strongest quake the country has seen since the 1970s. Just this week, Correa told Ecuadorians to keep their hopes up, but the road to recovery is long, according to the Associated Press. In Pedernales – one of the cities that suffered most of the damage in April – streets and schools remain closed, and some people are living in tarp shelters. Officials say that more than 7,000 people have been displaced.

An outpouring of support has helped the country heal. International groups, for example, have teamed up with the government to provide shelter and medical treatment for victims. And there are also the Ecuadorians who are on the ground helping their native country. Telenovela and theater actor Roberto Manrique dropped everything to raise awareness and money. He joined a fleet of volunteer trucks and vans to drive water, medicine, and other supplies and donations to the affected areas.

Leading the way, however, is 29-year-old Karla Morales, the executive director of human rights initiative Kahre. She began one of the first civilian relief efforts just four hours after the April 16 quake just through her social media accounts. She used her home as a collection center, and in one day, she ended up with enough donations to fill 28 trucks. “At 9 a.m., I sat on my porch just waiting to see if anyone dropped anything off,” she told UFF Mag. “The first person came, the second, the third. At noon, the line was around the block.” Since putting out a blast on her social media accounts, Karla has only gotten more involved. Check out the video below to see more of her amazing work:

For those who want to get involved but don’t know how, check out these lists of organizations you can donate to.