Ecuador Earthquake
Debris is pictured after an earthquake struck off Ecuador's Pacific coast, at Tarqui neighborhood in Manta April 17, 2016. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

On Saturday, April 16 at night, Ecuador was shaken by a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake, leaving an initial death toll of 235, which has risen to 350, and at least 1,500 injured. Ricardo Peñaherrera of Ecuador's national emergency management office told CNN shortly after the quake, that the lack of water and communication remains a big problem.

Up to yesterday, deaths had been reported in the country’s northern provinces such as Manabí, Guayas and Esmeraldas, but the death toll continues to rise.

President Rafael Correa instructed almost 10,000 troops and 3,500 police to focus on finding survivors. “Everything can be rebuilt, but lives cannot be recovered, and that's what hurts the most,” he declared.

There are several ways to help out our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters through donations and helping spread awareness:

Ecuador Red Cross: the organization already has teams on the ground searching for survivors and assisting the injured.

Global Shapers Quito: the local organization is raising funds in order to provide food, water, clothing, medicines and blankets to the victims.

UNICEF: as they continue to assess the needs of children in the most affected areas, UNICEF has delivered 20,000 water purification tables to the most devastated zones.

Samaritan’s Purse: the religious organization is coordinating with local community churches and officials, and will be sending medical staff later on this week.

World Vision: they’ve deployed emergency response staff to setup shelters and help with the aid distribution.

Oxfam International: the organization says they are working with “contacts on the ground” to see how they can assist government first responders.

While Ecuador is known for having high-magnitude earthquakes, this has been the strongest for the nation since 1979. The quake had its center 16 miles southeast of Muisne, Ecuador, as the United States Geological Survey reported, and it allegedly lasted over 60 seconds, furthering the devastation in affected areas.

In addition, GlobalGiving, a top-rated charity on Charity Navigator, has heard from several nonprofit partner organizations that there is need for support in Ecuador after the recent massive and deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

The organization has created the Ecuador Earthquake Relief Fund and all donations will exclusively support relief and recovery efforts from this earthquake. Initially, the projects will help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, the projects will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations. GlobalGiving and its partners will post reports about how funds have been used and will email these reports to donors and subscribers.

"We've raised millions of dollars for recent disasters including the Nepal earthquakes, Typhoon Haiyan, and we were the in the top 10 sources of relief funding to Japan after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami," they explained. "What makes us unique is our ability to get funds quickly (within days!) to vetted, locally-driven organizations who are best-positioned to provide immediate relief and to drive long-term recovery in their own communities."

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