The earthquake that has killed at least 235 people in Ecuador touches close to home for one Steinbach man.
Mark Reimer is the Director of the Manitoba to Ecuador Volunteer Project.
The group travels annually to the small fishing village of Puerto Lopez and works with kids in the community. Students from the village also travel to Steinbach for one semester of English Immersion.
Reimer tells 680 CJOB he’s spoken to his friends in the village, who say no one was killed by the 7.8 magnitude quake, but there’s a lot of damage.
“There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of damage to houses. I know the first response is, oh good there’s no loss of life, but when you lose your house that’s pretty devastating as well.”
Reimer notes it will take time for the village to re-build.
“There’s a lot of poor people in this town who don’t have a lot, so if their house is among the houses that are destroyed the capacity and possibility of re-building and starting over is a very daunting task.”
The quake is the largest to hit the country since 1979. Ecuador’s President has declared a national emergency and 10 thousand armed forces have been deployed.
The Canadian Government has also confirmed two people from Quebec were killed in the quake.