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April 26, 2016
On Saturday, April 16, 2016, Ecuador suffered a 7.8-magnitude earthquake near the town of Pedernales. The coastal provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, closest to the epicenter, were most affected by the quake. More than 650 people were killed and nearly 12,500 have been reported injured to date. In addition to the tragic human cost, it will take years and costs millions of dollars to rebuild the affected areas, according to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
Despite the extensive damage to the affected areas, Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism reported that the tourism infrastructure located in areas not significantly affected by the earthquake, such as the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos, remain open and fully operational. This includes all airports, accommodations, tour operations, and ground transportation. The Galapagos Islands, which are located approximately 600 miles from the mainland, were not impacted by the quake or aftershocks. All airports, hotels, and cruises in the Islands are fully operational, and all tourism activities including guided tours and excursions are running.
Traveling to Ecuador and to Galapagos following the earthquake is one of the best ways to help the country recover from this devastating natural disaster. More information can be found on the Tourism Ministry’s website.