Aid After Volcanic Eruption In Ecuador
In Wake Of Volcanic Eruption In Ecuador, Un Agencies Provide Humanitarian Aid
Several United Nations agencies are stepping in to provide relief assistance to Ecuador after last week’s deadly volcanic eruption in the central part of the Andean country.
The Tungurahua volcano, located 135 kilometres southeast of the capital Quito, began spewing lava, rock, and massive clouds of ash, steam and gas into the air on 16 August. Five people have reportedly been killed and roughly 19,000 people forced to evacuate.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released a $30,000 emergency cash grant to respond to immediate relief needs.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food to shelters in hard-hit areas, and the World Health Organization (WHO), with the Pan American Health Organization, has carried out a health assessment.
For its part, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is helping Ecuador to prepare for potential mudflows that could be triggered by high accumulations of ash and other materials on the volcano’s slopes.
Preliminary assessments have determined that conditions in public shelters, where 15,000 people have sought refuge, are satisfactory. There is, however, a continuing need for dust masks, goggles, jerry cans, emergency medical kits, tents, blankets, clean drinking water, food, kitchen sets and hygiene kits.