Ecuador experienced a 7.8 earthquake on April 16, 2016. CNN reports the death toll at 272 with more than 2,500 injuries. According to the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador, the epicenter was in the coastal town of Pedemales in the state of Manabi. Both Manabit and Esmeraldas provinces were affected by the quake. The tourism infrastructure located in the areas not significantly affected by the earthquake (Amazon, Andes, Galapagos) remains open and fully operational — including all airports, accommodations, tour operation and ground transport. Here is the Ministry of Tourism’s brief update and news regarding the tourism infrastructure and services in Ecuador’s four regions:
Amazon – All airports in the area are open and operating normally. The tourism infrastructure has not been affected and remains open and functioning.
Andes – All airports in the Andean region, including those in the cities of Quito, Latacunga, Cuenca, Loja and Tulcan, as well as ground transportation and accommodations, are fully operational and spared of any damage. The City of Quito is currently evaluating any possible damages to its historical center. Other popular tourism destinations including Otavalo, Cuenca, Banos and areas around the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanos have not reported any major damage and tourism services including hotels and tours are operating.
Coast – The port city of Guayaquil is reporting damage to roads, streets, bridges and other infrastructure across the city; however its airport and hotels remain open and fully operational. The Municipality of Guayaquil has asked for the limitation of transit through tomorrow in order to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake. This may impact the mobility of tourists. The cities Manta, Pedemales, Bahia de Caraquez and Portoviejo have suffered extensive damage, including the collapse of several buildings and hotels and most roads leading to these cities are closed. The Manta airport is closed to commercial flights until further notice, but remains open for flights carrying humanitarian assistance. The port of Manta remains in operation.
Galapagos Islands – Located 847 miles from the mainland, the Galapagos have not been affected by the quake or aftershocks. All airports, hotels and cruises in the area are fully operational and all tourism activities including guided tours and excursions are running.
The tsunami alert was lifted yesterday. All parks, nature reserves and public tourism sites across the country have been closed for 24 hours in order to conduct inspections and evaluate any possible damage to their infrastructure. For information regarding victims and missing persons, please contact: https://google.org/personfinder/2016-ecuador-earthquake.