Ecuador: Mission Summary

Ecuador: Mission Summary

18/04/2016 - 01/05/2016


At 18:58 local time on 16th April, Ecuador fell victim to its strongest earthquake in almost 40 years. 




Deployed to the field on 18th April, Télécoms Sans Frontières teams from Mexico and its International Headquarters undertook assessments in order to bring telecom support to its UN partner from the Disaster Assessment Coordination unit.












Two telecom operations centres were set up in strategic locations to ensure that all humanitarian workers had access to internet and improved information flow:


1/ the first TSF/UN On-Site Operations Coordination Centre was installed in Portoviejo, the town most heavily affected by the 7.8Mw quake 


2/ a sub-centre was implanted in Pedernales, a town where over 60% of infrastructure had been destroyed or severely damaged.


The goal of such telecom centres is to provide an environment in which humanitarian response teams and the government can carry out and diffuse assessments thanks to a reliable and secure internet connection and telephone services. Intervention plans are drawn up within these centres allowing for emergency response teams to intervene as quickly as possible amongst the thousands of families affected by the earthquake. 


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TSF worked alongside multi-sector assessment teams to support needs evaluations in the seven most affected zones surrounding Pedernales: Estero Seco, Pueblo Seco, Mono, Chibunga, Pueblo Nuevo, Comunal and El Carrmen. Teams on the ground equipped assessment units with satellite communications in order to both improve evaluation efforts and allow populations to make calls where necessary.




Beyond the assessments, these satellite lines proved vital for teams' security, as aftershocks continued to cause landslides. Our Head of Mission, Armando explains, "the Red Cross assessment units were blocked by mudslides on the road to Pedernales. Thanks to the satellite lines they were able to call for help."


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