A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador on Saturday night (April 16) has resulted in at least 350 deaths and 2,068 injuries so far.
Damage from the quake and a reported more than 230 aftershocks is still being assessed, but a number of areas off the northwestern coast of the South American country are without electricity, have experienced damaged roads and infrastructure, and in places like the city of Portoviejo, flattened homes and ripped apart buildings.
So far two Canadians are listed amongst the dead, Quebec neuropsychologist Jennifer Mawn and her 12-year-old son Arthur Laflamme.
For Canadians who want to do their part to aid the people of a nation that's almost 7,000 kilometres away, the best and simplest thing to do is donate money to a relevant disaster relief organization.
Samaritanmag found five organizations — some of which already have people on the ground helping out — that people can direct their helpful dollars to. Here they are:
* Canadian Red Cross — The Red Cross' National Disaster Response Team has already activated hundreds of volunteers to assess the humanitarian needs in the country. Donations can be made to the Ecuador Earthquake Appeal.
* World Vision Canada — Also with staff on the ground in Ecuador, World Vision responders are focusing on providing things like first aid, food, hygiene kits and safe drinking water, tents, mattresses and friendly spaces for children along with emotional support in health centres and shelter. Donation information can be found here.
* Oxfam Canada — Oxfam Canada is currently in the process of sending teams to Ecuador to assess how their organization can help. Oxfam suggests donating to its Emergency Response Fund, which provides "provide timely, appropriate responses to emergency situations in developing countries."
* Plan Canada — Plan Canada, which support social justice for children in developing countries, is particularly focused on protecting children during disaster events and have been in Ecuador for more than 50 years. Go here to support the organization's work.
Global Affairs Canada is advising against non-essential travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas and Santo Domingo on the northwestern coast of Ecuador
Marianick Tremblay, the Canadian Ambassador to Ecuador, has been spreading the word via social media that Canadians in Ecuador can get help. "Canadians in Ecuador: help us find you. Contact our team at Hotel Balandra, Manta or call 02-245-5499 or email@example.com," she tweeted.
Canadians in Ecuador: help us find you. Contact our team at Hotel Balandra, Manta or call 02-245-5499 or firstname.lastname@example.org— Marianick Tremblay (@MarianickT) April 17, 2016