A little more than a week ago, Ecuador was struck by a strong earthquake. It measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale and as expected from a severe earthquake of that strength, resulted in a lot of structural damage and caused the deaths of at least 600 people. This is a tragic disaster and rescue efforts and aid have been ongoing but it has affected tourism much less than media sources might have us believe.
Contrary to what had been written and expressed at some sources, the earthquake did not affect the entire country. In fact, it wasn’t even felt in the eastern part of Ecuador and damage was mostly limited to one area. Here are some other facts about this recent tragic disaster:
- An epicenter near the coast: The epicenter of the earthquake was located very near the coast in western Ecuador, especially near the cities of Pedernales, and Manta. These and other nearby towns in Manabi province were mostly destroyed, roads in the area were heavily affected, and the people living in that area are passing through difficult times. Fortunately, aid from within and outside of Ecuador has been reaching them. Trips to this area should be changed for the time being.
- What parts of Ecuador were not affected?: Actually, most of the country. For example, although the quake was felt in Quito, this was far enough from the epicenter that very little to no damage was reported. The airport at Quito is open, and all of the regular tours there are possible. The same goes for Otavalo, Banos, the Galapagos Islands, and all of eastern Ecuador including the Huaorani Ecolodge. Tourism in these areas is normal and the same activities and infrastructure are available as before the earthquake.
To learn more about Ecuador and if the recent earthquake has affected trips to certain areas, contact us at Tropic.