Aid, Rescuers Pouring Into Ecuador After Earthquake

Donations being collected in South Florida

Rescuers and aid from all over the world are flooding into Ecuador as survivors start a second day in towns flattened by the quake, and the search for people trapped beneath the rubble continues.

Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long says hundreds of international aid workers are already in place. Mexico has sent 120 helpers, Spain sent 80 rescue experts and Chile sent 49 firefighters. Missions have also arrived from Peru, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Switzerland.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will help in any way possible.

International aid groups have dispatched doctors and psychologists, and dogs trained to search for survivors. Workers are also setting up plants to clean drinking water.

In South Florida, people were working to collect badly needed items to send to Ecuador. Provex Inc., an Ecuadoran shipping company in northwest Miami-Dade, is working with the consulate to ship donations to Ecuador.

"Very awful, this is the first time we go through this," said Francisco Plaza, operations manager for Provex. "We had a donation today, it was a guy from Cuba but he came and 'here, here my donations.'"

Consul General Eduardo Rivadeneira Baquerizo said the consulate will be staffed around the clock in part to work with South Floridians who are trying to connect with loved ones in Ecuador.

"We feel very sad, it's very terrible," Baquerizo said. "A lot of people can't find all the families."

According to the consul general, there are about 90,000 Ecuadorian nationals living in South Florida. Many worked Monday to collect donations.

"My dad is over there in the place where that happened and he says it's bad, very bad," said Shamira Solis.

So far, clothes, water, food, mattresses and other items have been collected and were being shipped, but more is needed. If you'd like to donate you can visit the Ecuadorian Consulate at 117 Northwest 42nd Avenue, or drop by 7061 Northwest 87th Avenue in Miami where there will be a large container for donations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us