Ecuador earthquake death rises to nearly 650

The 7.8 magnitude quake, Ecuador’s worst in nearly seven decades, injured about 12,500 people and left 130 missing along the country’s ravaged Pacific coast.

“These have been sad days for the homeland,” said a visibly moved Correa during his regular Saturday TV broadcast. “The country is in crisis.”

There have been several strong tremors and more than 700 aftershocks since the quake, cadisasterusing panic but little additional damage. Tremors are expected to continue for several weeks.

With nearly 7,000 buildings destroyed, more than 26,000 people are living in shelters. About 14,000 security personnel are keeping order in the affected areas, where only sporadic looting has been reported.

Survivors in the quake zone have been receiving food, water and medicine from the government and scores of foreign aid workers, but Correa has acknowledged that the poor condition of roads delayed the arrival of aid to some communities.

Correa’s leftwing government, which is facing a huge rebuilding task at a time ofgreatly reduced oil revenues, has said it will temporarily increase some taxes, offer assets for sale and possibly issue bonds abroad to fund reconstruction. Congress will begin debate on the tax proposal on Tuesday.

The president has estimated the damage at between $2bn and $3bn. Diminished oil revenues have already left the Opec member country of nearly 16 million people facing near-zero growth and lower investment.

On Saturday, Ecuador’s private banking association said its member banks would defer payments on credit cards, loans and mortgages for clients in the quake zone for three months in order to assist reconstruction efforts.

 

Ecuatorianos en Irlanda

Ecuatorianos en Ireland was created since 2004 , were 28 Ecuadorian citizen meet in Dun laoghaire for the first time ,in hope to gather as much Ecuadorians  they can , since then nearly 83 Ecuadorians are currently living in Ireland and  keep growing.

Few details of Ecuador 

Ecuador’s geographical variety is nearly matched by its diverse migration patterns. Although it is a small Andean country of approximately 13.3 million people, Ecuadorians are one of the largest immigrant groups in metro New York and the second largest immigrant group in Spain.

In the past 25 years, Ecuador has experienced two major waves of emigration, sending 10 to15 percent of Ecuadorians overseas, mostly to Spain, the United States, Italy, Venezuela, with a small but growing number in Chile.

While the country continues to experience emigration, the number of immigrants, particularly Peruvians and Colombians, has increased in the last five years. Most Peruvians are economic migrants, and the majority of Colombians are refugees, escaping an escalation of armed conflict since 2002 and the hardships created by drug eradication programs (spraying coca crops) in southern Colombia.

The newly elected president, Rafael Correa, has reached out to Ecuadorian communities overseas and has promised to incorporate them into the economic and political life of Ecuador.

Immigration History 

Like many countries in Latin America, Ecuador in the 1970s experienced economic growth and improved living conditions. But in the early 1980s, oil prices collapsed, causing a debt crisis, an increase in inflation, and a dramatic decrease in wages. The crisis, Ecuador’s first since 1960, was particularly onerous on subsistence farmers, thousands of whom opted to emigrate as a result.

 Remittances Development Issues

Similar to many Latin American countries, Ecuador depends on the funds its migrants send home. The Inter-American Development Bank estimated that Ecuador received $2.0 billion in remittances in 2004, equivalent to 6.7 percent of its GDP and second only to oil exports; 14 percent of adults in Ecuador receive remittances regularly.

Contemporary Immigration

The 2001 census recorded 104,130 foreign born, or less than 1 percent of Ecuador’s population of 12.1 million. Almost half of the foreign born were from Colombia, with 51,556 residents (49.5 percent), followed by the United States (11,112 residents, 10.7 percent) and Peru (5,682 residents, 5.5 percent).

UNHCR’s estimate asylum statistics in Ecuador

Although not all Colombians who come to Ecuador apply for asylum, they make up the overwhelming majority of people applying for and receiving asylum. According to Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between 2000 and 2005, 36,665 people applied for asylum, with the number of applications peaking in 2003 (see Figure 2). Ninety-seven percent of the applicants were Colombian. Of the total number of applications, 11,492 (31 percent) were granted refugee status, 98 percent of them Colombians.