Goodbye Ecuador!

Today the last remaining EEFIT members leave Ecuador to return back to the UK. Our time here has flown by. Every day has been jam packed with site visits and discussions with locals and authorities. It has been an incredible learning experience for the whole team. We all hope that lessons that can be learnt…

Geotech team: Microtremor testing

It has been noted that in some of the cities most heavily affected by the April 16th earthquake, severe damage is heavily concentrated in certain areas of the city. This could be due to a number of factors, one of which is the ground conditions in that area. The geotechnical team has conducted a number of microtremor tests…

Day 8: The Chone river estuary

After a productive couple of days in Pedernales and the surrounding region, the team are travelling back south again. Today the geotechnical subteam spent the day surveying landslides and liquefaction induced damage in the Chone river estuary. The British Geological Survey (BGS) used satellite imagery (obtained via the International Charter; Space and Major Disasters) to create maps of earthquake induced…

Day 7:  Chamanga and Pedernales

The team woke up in Cojimies, Ecuador, to a power cut, and news that the President of Ecuador was visiting Pedernales all day. Guillermo, the team leader, and Major Manuel Querembás set off directly to Pedernales for meetings with a number of officials, and even managed a short meeting with the President! The rest of…

Day 7: EEFIT Greets President Correa

Today we had the pleasure of greeting President Rafael Correa. As he was visiting the Emergency Committee Headquarters in Pedernales, Guillermo and Major Manuel Querembas briefly spoke to him and briefed him on the EEFIT mission. The President expressed his gratitude for all the contributions we may be able to provide as Ecuador continues responding…

Day 6: Pedernales

The team visited Pedernales, a town in the north of Manabí province, which was very badly hit by the earthquake. From the sea front, up to the main coastal road, damage is everywhere. Demolished holes where houses once stood litter the landscape. Some plots have very few remains left standing. One school building suffered minor…

Day 5: Children’s Day at the Earthquake Shelters

As part of EEFIT mission and conduction community vulnerability assessment to earthquake disasters, I visited earthquake refugee shelters in Canoa and Jama, Manabi province, Ecuador. Interestingly, it was Children’s Day (Día del Niño) in Ecuador. I came to know that every year on 1st of June they celebrate this day and kids up to 12…

Day 5: The Enigma of the San Isidro Landslides

Near San Isidro in Manabi there is a place known as ‘El Relleno’. Before the earthquake, this was a tranquil elevated green plateau overlooking miles of forest and fields in all directions. But on April 16 the ground deformed violently creating large depressions, “graben”-style, 12-20m deep, 30-50m across and hundreds or maybe thousands of meters long. With the ground under their…

Day 5: Canoa and Jama

The structures team and the social science team spent the morning in Canoa and Rio Canoa, and the afternoon in Jama. More interviews were conducted with the residents of shelter camps in Canoa, and the structures team surveyed the pedestrian suspension bridge and the first two streets parallel to the sea front using the omni-directional camera. This…

Day 4: Los Caras Bridge

The Los Caras bridge links the centre of Bahia de Caraquez in the south with the town of San Vicente in the north spanning the long estuary that lies between them. With a total length of 2,000m the structure is divided into three parts, the two approaches and a central isolated span of 1,710m.  The…

Day 4: Bahía de Caráquez

Today the team set off early from Manta and headed to Bahía de Caráquez to spend the morning with the Ecuadorian Army Corps of Engineers. The ‘Los Caras’ bridge connects San Vincente in the east to Bahía de Caráquez in the west. The bridge is the longest in Ecuador and is critical for connections to the coastal…

Day 2 & 3 – Safety in ‘Ground Zero’, Portoviejo

On day 2 and 3 of the mission, we visited the ‘Ground Zero’ area in Portoviejo, the most affected area of this city. The area has been cordoned off by the Army for safety and security reasons. The structures sub-team stayed in the Ground Zero area for most of day 2 and part of day…