Picture by MennoGuy licensed under Creative Commons
The recent diplomatic crisis with its neighbor to the north, Colombia may have took most of the media spotlight off the effects of the heavy rains in Ecuador, but many are still suffering due to these natural disasters. The above picture corresponds to a Ecuadorian locality called Tosagua in the province of Manabi, which was one of at least 15 other provinces affected by heavy floodings. The crisis in this country is such that the President himself has said that for this type of natural events that the government is not well prepared, and what is worse, it has no money. Losses as consequence of the flooding are measured in millions of dollars and it is estimated that it will cost 1 billion dollars for the reconstruction of flooding zones. Crops and livestock have been lost, and it has also claimed 23 lives. To make things worse and more tragic, it is now feared that epidemics, such as dengue will affect the flooded areas.
The Spanish government and the Pope were the first to bring humanitarian aid to the most affected, according to Ecuadorian media. In Guayas and the rest of the Ecuadorian coast, water treatment plants are going to be installed to alleviate some of the possible intestinal problems of the residents of these areas. People from the government, such as Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), Jeanneth Sanchez said that ‘this is not an emergency, it is a national tragedy’ and invited others to join in the Campaign “Return The Happiness” with the purpose of collecting food and clothes for the victims. In this crusade, Megamaxi, Diners Club International, the National Institute for Children and Families (INNFA), MIES have joined.
The truth is that public safety is threatened in Ecuador not only by floodings, but by other natural forces such as the eruptions of the Volcano Tungurahua and has been reported by El Blog de Palulo [es] with pictures. He is not only using microblogging (Twitter) to keep Ecuador updated, but his last post about the volcano says it's calming down:
Genial! fue lo primero que dije al ver al Tungurahua lleno de nieve en su cúspide y con una fumarola saliendo de su cráter. Cuando niño era normal verlo con nieve hasta las faldas, pero ahora, con un proceso eruptivo en curso, imágenes como estas son impresionantes.
Great! It was the first thing I said when I saw the Tungurahua full of snow at its top and a fumes out of its crater. When I was a child, it was normal to see it with snow skirts, but now, with a current eruptive process in progress, images as these pictures are impressive.
Ecuador Periodístico [es] writes about the Vice-President's campaign to get Ecuadorians’ spirits high, makes up an history:
No es que la idea sea mala, sino que ¡qué oportuna!, me pregunto si la agencia de publicidad podrá adaptar unos nuevos artes en los que se vea a la gente de la Costa con el agua en el cuello, ¡pero sonriendo…! eso sí sería bueno, serían unos tipazos de positivos. Estamos en emergencia, 15 provincias inundadas, 22 muertos, 100 mil damnificados y… ahora hay que sonreír. Otro arte alterno podría ser aquel de las faldas del Tungurahua llenas de ceniza y las vacas sonriendo, genial no… unas vacas positivas, que le ríen a la adversidad.
Not that the idea is bad, but how timely!, I wonder if the advertising agency may adapt some new advertisement techniques in which the people of the Coast are shown with water up to their neck, but… smiling! So it would be such a great man of positive thinking. We are in an emergency, 15 flooded provinces, 22 dead, 100 thousand injured and . .. Now we have to smile. Another alternative could it be the sides of Tungurahua filled with ash and cows smiling, cool, right?… some positive cows, which will laugh at adversity.
Flooding is still expected to continue for at least one more month along the Ecuadorian coast and major newspapers as El Comercio, La Hora and El Universo confirmed this information. And now these people will suffer from illnesses as a result of the accumulation of mosquitoes bringing malaria and dengue fever due to the accumulation of water. Don Xavier [es] is thoughful about what is expected to be done by national media, which he says is not informing and instead putting on a soap opera:
No sería más útil que se informe por los canales de televisión, que tienen mayor cobertura, donde se puede asistir para buscar refugio o mostraran vías de evacuación y zonas de impacto o por lo menos donde ir para poder abastecerse de alimentos, no he visto en ningún noticiero que estando la gente con el agua hasta el cuello, algún reportero ayudara a esta gente y no me digan que eso no es parte de su trabajo, creo que eso es simplemente HUMANIDAD, que porque puedo decir que no lo hacen, fácil ninguno lo ha mostrado y ya sabemos que por ganar rating cualquier cosa vale, menos informar imparcialmente y con claridad.
Wouldn't it be more useful to report on the television channels, which have greater coverage, where anyone can see where to look for refuge, escape routes, areas of impact, or at least know where to go in order to stock up on food. I have seen no broadcast news that when coming across people with water up to their neck, where the reporter helps these people and don't come and tell me that this is not part of their work, I think this is simply HUMANITY, that why I can say they are not doing it; it is quite easy, nobody has yet to show it and we all know that to win ratings, anything counts, but at least inform impartially and clearly.
Ecuador needs help now, government will import 45 thousand tons of rice to recover the loss in production and with unemployment on the rise the situations calls for international assistance. If netizens can help it is time to do so and if the friendly governments can help, their help will be most welcome.