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Ecuador: Government Declares Emergency Due to Flooding

costa.jpg
Picture under Creative Commons License and published by Mikelos

Recently the Ecuadorian government wrote a decree, which declares a National Emergency in Ecuador due to heavy flooding in various regions. This decision was made in order to protect and provide assistance to Ecuadorians, as the previous declaration made on January 31 only included certain regions particularly on the coast. Tungurahua was one of these provinces that were declared in emergency because of activities of the Tungurahua volcano but, President Correa signed the document backed by 47th Article of the Ecuadorian Constitution and declared the emergency not for the eruption of the volcano, but for the heavy rains across the country.

Ecuadorian bloggers, of course, are following the events and here a roundup of what are they thinking:

Gaby Salas [es], for example, quotes the article 5 of the government's decree and explains what should be the course of actions for all involved:

Se declara la Movilización Militar, Civil y Económica en todo el territorio nacional en todos los Frentes de Acción de la Seguridad Nacional, de todos los bienes, servicios, empresas, industrias y alojamientos que deban prestar su colaboración para superar la presente emergencia, para lo cual se autoriza al Jefe del Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas que determine todas las movilizaciones que sean necesarias y emita las directivas para la ejecución de los trabajos de todas persona natural o jurídica, nacional o extranjera. Eso siginifica, que todos quienes estamos en el país en algún momento dado tendremos que ayudar en todas las formas a quienes estan sufriendo por motivos invernales.

Military, Civil and Economic Mobilization is declared throughout the country on all action fronts of the National Security in regards to all goods, services, companies, industries and accommodations that must cooperate to overcome this emergency, which has been authorized by the Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, who will determine the necessary mobilizations and issue instructions for those people, national or foreign, to carry out this work. This means that all who are in the country at any given time will have to help in every way to those who are suffering from this weather.

Ciudadanía Informada [es] echoes what's going on in Ecuador and summarizes the list of benefits delivered by the government to those affected:

El Presidente Correa manifestó que los afectados por las inundaciones que reciben el Bono de Desarrollo Humano podrán acceder al “Bono de la Emergencia”, para lo cual trabaja el Ministerio de Inclusión Social en el levantamiento de datos. El bono es de USD90 que serán entregados en dos partes la primera que será de USD45 en los próximos días y la segunda en el mes de marzo por la misma cantidad “para que puedan disminuir en algo la crítica situación en la que se encuentran”, acotó el mandatario. Los agricultores que han perdido su ganado y cultivos serán beneficiados con el “Bono de Emergencia Agropecuaria” el mismo que les permitirá acceder a semillas y fertilizantes gratuitos, una vez pasada la emergencia. A esto se suma la entrega de nuevos créditos a través del Banco Ecuatoriano de Fomento. El mandatario destacó que los municipios podrán utilizar los dineros que el Estado entregó como parte de su presupuesto normal, pues el decreto suscrito permite que estos fondos sean utilizados en acciones de emergencia “y todo se les repondrá, no se les perjudicará en dos reales de su presupuesto normal”.

President Correa said that those affected by the floods, who receive the voucher of Human Development may access the “Bond of Emergency”, and the Ministry of Social Inclusion will work to collect information. The 90-dollar bond will be delivered in two parts, the first of 45 dollars to be hand out in the coming days and the second in March in the same amount “to diminish the critical situation in which they find themselves,” said the President. Farmers who have lost their livestock and crops will benefit from the “Emergency Agricultural Bond” which will allow them to access free seeds and fertilizers, after the emergency. In addition, new credits will be provided through the Development Bank of Ecuador. The government's representative stressed that the municipalities may use the money from their normal budgets, as the decree allows these funds to be used for emergency actions “and everything will be reimbursed, it won't affect not even two cents of their normal budget. “

To show the cruel realities in which some people from the Ecuadorian Litoral have faced, El Blog de Naranjal [es] writes an extensive report about Naranjal, an area of Guayas province and the intervention of the local Red Cross:

El desbordamiento de los ríos Bulu-Bulu y Cañar, invadieron extensas zonas agrícolas del sector. Los muros de contención cedieron ante el impresionante volumen de su caudal. El nivel de la cota llego a 46, (el límite tolerable es 36). La población de las zonas inundadas se vio afectada, ya que se registraron en algunos sectores 3 metros de inundación, perdiendo sus pertenencias. Por fortuna no hubo pérdida de vidas humanas.

The overflow of the rivers Bulu-Bulu and Cañar, invaded large areas of the agricultural sector. The retaining walls buckled under the impressive volume of the flow. The level of water hit the 46 cm (the tolerable limit is 36). The population of flooded areas was affected, and in some sectors there was 3 meters of flooding. They lost their belongings. Fortunately there was not loss of life.

Secular groups started preparing early for this kind of situation in Ecuador, considering that it is a cycle Ecuadorians have to live with every year when winter arrives. This is what is being reported by E-zine SUD [es] page, where Ecuadorians are finding ways to remain alert. One of the rescue workers said, “it is better to prevent, than to lament.”

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