On 18 April 2016, a man pushing a child and psoseions in a troilley walks with a womaan past damaged buildings in Pedernales canton in Manabí province of Ecuador. On 16 April 2016, Ecuador was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake was felt in the whole country, but the most significant damage has been reported from the coastal provinces. Pedernales canton (in Manabí province) has been reported as one of the most damaged territories, along with Portoviejo, Chone and Muisne. At least 150,000 children are affected by the April 16 earthquake in Ecuador, according to initial UNICEF estimates. As of Sunday April 17th, 14 hours local time, the Government had reported 246 people dead and 2.527 injured. This figure is expected to increase as more information is gathered and rescue operations reach the affected areas. The Government has declared a State of emergency for 6 provinces: Esmeraldas, Manabí, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos. The Government has also declared a State of Exception for the whole country which allows to mobilize financial and human resources.

Children and adolescents are most in need of help. In Pedernales the population is approximately 61,000 people of which about 50% are below the age of 20. Either directly or indirectly, many children and adolescents, and their families have been affected by this earthquake. According to preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone. In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 per cent of communication lines are working.

UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue