On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, killing at least 570 people. As of April 21, at least 155 additional Ecuadorians remained missing, 7,015 were injured, and almost 25,000 people were living in shelters.
In addition to the human toll, the earthquake destroyed homes, hospitals, roads, and businesses, and knocked out electricity and water.
This resolution expresses Congress’ condolences to and support for the people of Ecuador. It points out that approximately 700,000 Ecuadorian-Americans live in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and that these Americans are concerned about their families, friends, and loved ones back in Ecuador.
It also adds that flooding from El Niño is making search, rescue, and recovery efforts particularly difficult.
Finally, the legislation acknowledges that Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will “stand by the people of Ecuador in this difficult time and are ready to assist in any way we can.”
It commends everyone working to assist in the wake of the earthquake, including international agencies, the U.S. Government, and nongovernment organizations.