U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Todd Chapman said on Wednesday that the U.S. government has sent teams of aid workers to Ecuador’s earthquake-ravaged north coast. He also asked expats to assist in locating missing U.S. citizens.
“The Ecuadorian government has accepted our offer of assistance and we are actively working with them,” Chapman said. He added: “We are also reaching out to the U.S. citizen community in Ecuador to make sure they understand that the embassy is open for business and here to provide services following this great tragedy. Right now, this is our most important mission.”
Of immediate concern, Chapman said, is locating U.S. citizens reported missing. He said that one U.S. citizen has been confirmed dead following Saturday’s earthquake.
According to the ambassador, a U.S. disaster relief teams arrived Monday and are working with the Ecuadorian government in damage assessment and relief planning. A team of firefighters from Fairfax, Virginia is also in Ecuador as part of a United Nations disaster aid missions. In addition, the U.S. has donated money for the hardest-hit communities and has begun air shipments of supplies for the entire region.
“We have expressed our condolences to the people and government of Ecuador and made it clear that that the U.S. stands ready to help,” he said.
Chapman praised the efforts of U.S. expats for helping in the relief effort through volunteer work and donations. “You are showing a great humanitarian spirit and I know this will continue,” he said.
He said that U.S. citizens who need assistance or have information about missing citizens can contact the embassy in Quito (http://ecuador.usembassy.gov) and the consulate in Guayaquil (http://guayaquil.usconsulate.gov).