The humanist charity Foundation Beyond Belief has announced an emergency fund drive to help on-the-ground rescue and recovery efforts after a devastating 7.8 magnitude quake rocked Ecuador Saturday night.
The initial government report of 246 people dead and 2,527 injured is likely to run much higher as search and rescue teams fan out across the country.
Disaster relief organizations such as Team Rubicon, UNICEF, and International Medical Corps are expected to mobilize soon, and the Ecuador Red Cross has already mobilized in the affected region.
The quake was six times more powerful than the recent 7.0 earthquake in Japan, and more than 130 aftershocks have followed. The cities of Manta, Portoviejo, and Pedernales have suffered the most casualties and damage, but there have been fatalities as far away as Guayaquil (see photo). Foundation Beyond Belief will announce a beneficiary in the next 72 hours for the funds collected during this drive.
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