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April Earthquakes Strike Hard in Japan and Ecuador

In Ecuador, at least 570 people have died and 155 are reported missing following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered off the coast on April 16. There is a strong Episcopal Church presence in communities affected by the earthquakes, and two in particular – San Esteban in the Cuba neighborhood of the city of Manta and San Jose in nearby 15 de Abril – are mobilizing a response to reach 300 families in the most hard-hit areas, with support from Episcopal Relief & Development through the Diocese of Litoral Ecuador (part of Province IX of The Episcopal Church).


Episcopal Relief & Development Press ReleaseMay 12, 2016

Read the full press release here.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting earthquake response efforts in Ecuador through local Episcopal dioceses in both the coastal and inland regions. The Diocese of Litoral Ecuador, based in Guayaquil, was hardest hit by the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck off the coast on April 16. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) puts the current death toll at 660, with 23 still missing. Over 4,600 people were injured in the disaster, and nearly 23,000 are still in shelters three weeks following the quake, as an estimated 7,000 buildings were destroyed and numerous aftershocks hampered initial response activities.

Four key congregations in the municipality of Manta, a city along Ecuador’s central coast, are appointing parishioners to liaise with local government on planning the response in those communities. In addition, the diocese is training specialists to assist parish leadership in all impacted areas to conduct needs assessments and determine how best to respond. With support from Episcopal Relief & Development, the diocese is providing food, clothing, first aid supplies, clean water, household items and emergency repair assistance to 300 families. These congregations are also mobilizing volunteers and working with government and local organizations to coordinate efforts.

Episcopal Relief & Development is also responding through the Diocese of Central Ecuador, which is assisting an additional 300 families with food, water and first aid, and plans to support the reconstruction of seven damaged homes.


Episcopal Relief & Development Press ReleaseApril 21, 2016

Read the full press release here.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting local church partners in Texas, Ecuador and Japan as they respond to recent disasters. Throughout, local churches are reaching out in their communities to assess needs and accompany people as they cope with the immediate aftermath of the emergency. In addition to pastoral care, churches are also providing temporary housing assistance and emergency supplies such as food, water, fuel and other site-specific needs.

In Ecuador, at least 570 people have died and 155 are reported missing following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered off the coast on April 16. Ecuador’s Risk Management Office says that more than 7,000 people are injured and 25,000 are taking refuge in emergency shelters. Meanwhile, strong aftershocks continue to rattle the country, hampering ongoing search and rescue efforts and prolonging the trauma of displacement and uncertainty. A state of emergency has been declared for 6 provinces, with access to impacted areas limited due to the destruction of roads and other infrastructure. The worst damage was reported in Pedernales, a coastal town of 55,000, which was declared a "disaster zone".

There is a strong Episcopal Church presence in communities affected by the earthquakes, and two in particular – San Esteban in the Cuba neighborhood of the city of Manta and San Jose in nearby 15 de Abril – are mobilizing a response to reach 300 families in the most hard-hit areas, with support from Episcopal Relief & Development through the Diocese of Litoral Ecuador (part of Province IX of The Episcopal Church). The most immediate needs are for food, water, clothing and other items such as mosquito nets and first aid supplies. Churches will also provide pastoral care and coordinate with government and civil society organizations to facilitate response efforts and bring to attention the needs of their communities.

“I am very grateful to our partner churches in Ecuador who have immediately reached out to assess needs in their communities,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Program Officer for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction. “Vulnerability is an everyday experience for many, so the Church’s long-term connections and care in the community are incredibly valuable assets in times of disaster, when people could easily fall through the cracks.”

Episcopal Relief & Development has also conveyed prayers and offered support to the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK, the Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan) following the earthquake in Kumamoto on April 16. The confirmed death toll stands at 45, with search and rescue operations still ongoing.

Please pray for people impacted by these recent events, and for those who are providing urgently needed care and assistance.

Bulletin inserts are available in order to raise awareness and support for Episcopal Relief & Development’s disaster response efforts in Ecuador and Texas:

  • Half-page English (PDF) (JPG)
  • Half-page Espanol (PDF) (JPG)

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s responses in Ecuador and Texas, please donate to the International Disaster Response Fund or the US Disaster Response Fund, respectively.


 

April 19, 2016Episcopal Relief & Development Web Statement

Episcopal Relief & Development urges prayers for all those impacted by the earthquakes that shook two regions over the weekend.

The coast of Ecuador was hit by a massive earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Richter scale and killed more than 270 people. Thousands of people have also been injured and displaced, especially in the coastal areas and cities.

Two earthquakes also struck the southern tip of Japan within 24 hours of each other. Following a series of aftershocks, at least 42 people have been found dead and over 110,000 are reported to have been displaced from their homes.

Episcopal Relief & Development has reached out to church partners in each country.

Please continue to pray for all those displaced by these disasters, and for first responders and volunteers who are working to rescue those in danger and care for people in need.

Contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development’s International Disaster Response Fund will support relief efforts. 

Prayer for Preparedness and Response 

O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope.  Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.


— The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York disaster preparedness plan

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