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Recovering From Shock: IAEA Supports Ecuador in its Recovery Efforts Following 7.8m Earthquake

April 16 began as a normal day for millions of Ecuadorians, but as midnight approached, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake took place 27 kilometres off of Ecuador’s Pacific coast, rupturing buildings, rendering roads impassable, and causing both flooding and mudslides. 660 Ecuadorian lives have thus far been claimed by the earthquake, and an additional 28,000 people have been  hospitalized due to injuries caused by the tremors.

In addition to other public infrastructure damaged by the earthquake, many hospitals and clinics—whose role in emergency response is pivotal—were made inoperable after the quake destroyed the integrity of their buildings.

Responding to a request for emergency assistance made by the Government of Ecuador, the IAEA has sent medical and radiological equipment to the affected areas.

Organized and delivered under the IAEA’s technical cooperation (TC) programme, the Agency is providing four mobile digital x-ray systems, including their complementary power generators, one emergency diagnostic kit, and 24 personal detectors.

Mr Jorge Bastidas, Director of Nuclear Applications and Technical Cooperation within the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Ecuador, recently took time away from an ongoing TC regional meeting in Vienna, to describe both the effects of the April 16 earthquake and the subsequent IAEA support.

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