Updated 19 April 2016
MAF's affiliate organisation in Ecuador has evacuated children who were injured in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred Saturday night on Ecuador's coast.
'The health minister of Ecuador asked Alas de Socorro del Ecuador (ADSE) to make a flight from Manta to Quito to evacuate two children with cranio encephalic trauma,' shares David Montero, director of ADSE. Two other patients were also taken to hospital on the same flight.
At least 413 people have been confirmed dead so far according to news reports, with 1,500 people injured, but that number could be revised upward.
On the western side of the country, many buildings and roads have collapsed. Manta was very hard-hit and its air traffic tower collapsed in the quake. Quito was without power or phone service for several hours, but those services have now been restored.
'The hardest hit town was Pedernales,' said pilot Dan Whitehead on Sunday, 'and we have heard from a reliable source that they fear more than 1,000 have died there. The communications with the small towns along the coast are patchy so we don't yet know all that has happened.'
On Monday, ADSE did an assessment flight for Samaritan's Purse and a second flight is scheduled for Tuesday. Additional earthquake-related flights are expected for the rest of the week.
It is not yet known how much need there will be for ADSE's services, as the areas most affected are not isolated, with transportation and other infrastructure. However, many many buildings have been totally destroyed and many roads are not passable.
ADSE and MAF are assessing needs and will remain on standby, ready to respond if they can help.
MAF began working in Ecuador in 1948, serving isolated mountain and jungle areas. The operation began transitioning to an Ecuadorian entity in 1986, and came under full Ecuadorian management in 2009. The two organisations maintain a close working relationship. ADSE has 20 staff and 5 aircraft. Shell, where ADSE is based, is some 200 miles from the epicentre of this earthquake.
Here's how you can pray:
- Pray for the many families and communities devastated by this tragedy.
- Pray for those who may still be trapped in the rubble.
- Pray for healing of the injured.
- Pray for those involved in relief and search-and-rescue efforts.
- Pray for the ADSE/MAF team.