Earthquake Relief Items Headed From South Florida to Ecuador

The first air shipment of aid to help victims of the Ecuador earthquake is scheduled to leave South Florida on Tuesday.

Provex Inc., an Ecuadoran shipping company in northwest Miami-Dade, has been working with the consulate to ship donations to Ecuador following a 7.8-magnitude quake that struck the country's Pacific coast on Saturday.

The death toll in the quake has risen to 413, and includes at least one U.S. citizen, according to the State Department.

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.

According to the consul general, there are about 90,000 Ecuadorian nationals living in South Florida. Many have been working tirelessly to collect much needed items.

A meeting was held Tuesday with consuls general from nine Central and South American countries who came together in Miami to express solidarity and pledge support for Ecuador.

"Everything you can send over there is going to help a lot, for all the people of Ecuador," Baquerizo said.

"We've seen tragedy in all the different Caribbean and South American countries, and we sort of band together when that happens. As a city, we embrace all these different Hispanic cultures. So we certainly want to do our part," said Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez.

Tames Airlines will deliver the first air shipment of these supplies Tuesday.

To donate relief items, 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.

Anyone with a missing relative can check the web page of the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

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