UK engineers have been called to Ecuador to help analyse structural damage caused by a fatal earthquake.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on Saturday 16 April and has left at least 272 people dead, according to reports. The most severe earthquake to occur in Ecuador in decades has devastated pacific coastal cities and villages, with landslides and severe damage to key infrastructure hampering rescue efforts.
The Government Office for Science has requested four structural engineers to assist with assessing the structural damage that has affected the country’s building, roads and bridges. The engineers must be free to be deployed early on 19 April, with the mission lasting approximately 16 days or longer. The four volunteers will be deployed under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which will cover the deployment costs and pay a per diem.
The objectives of the mission include facilitating coordination of aid from participating countries, supporting the Ecuadorian authorities in assessing structural damage, and providing recommendations to the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). The mission will also involve close cooperation with Ecuadorian civil protection and technical teams operating in the affected areas, as well as liaising with on-site aid teams.
To volunteer or recommend a candidate, contact Jack Wardle at the Government Office for Science.
The fatal incident in Ecuador comes days after Japan was hit by two major earthquakes. On Thursday 14 April, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck east of Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu at 9.26pm (12.26pm GMT). A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the same region at about 1.30am on Saturday 16 April (3.25pm GMT Friday).
According to reports, at least 42 people have died and more than 1,000 have been injured. There has also been widespread damage to buildings, homes, roads and bridges, while a series of landslides have isolated remote villages.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned that there may be more tremors over the coming days.