QUITO, EC – Ecuadoreans by the thousands are gathering in the safety of capital city Quito to send aid to coastal areas affected by a recent earthquake.
Cars are lining up outside Quito’s former airport with local citizens, anxious to drop off food, blankets, water, clothing and medical supplies.
“It’s so incredible to watch Quiteños come together like this,” says Quito’s Mayor, Mauricio Rodas. The Mayor and his wife have been leading an initiative to gather aid packages at the former airport and load them on to trucks.
The trucks then start a four-hour journey into the coastal regions affected by the quake. Quito is over 280 km away from the epicenter of Saturday’s quake – a distance approximately the same as New York City to Baltimore in United States or Frankfurt to Zurich, in Europe.
Since Saturday evening, citizens of Quito have rallied to send:
- 152 truckloads of aid, which have travelled a combined distance of over 85,000 km to deliver badly needed food, blankets, water and medicine.
- 450 tonnes of clothing, blankets, foods, medicine and water for 25 affected towns.
- 360 specialists, such as police and firefighters.
- 60 ambulances, trucks and heavy machinery manufacturing.
- 5 airplanes full of aid.
“Quito was fortunate to escape this earthquake, but Ecuadoreans work together,” says Mayor Rodas. “We are a strong nation of resilient people. We will get through this together”.
The aid effort has also been assisted by countless corporate donations. Numerous airlines, security firms, trucking companies, pharmacies, supermarkets and others have contributed everything from mattresses to medicine.