World / Latin America

Chinese technology saves lives in Ecuador

By Xinhua In Quito, Ecuador (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-22 07:35

ECU911 emergency monitoring system plays key role in coordinating rescue work

A four-year-old girl in the port city of Manta had been trapped in debris for eight hours before she was rescued after a deadly earthquake jolted the Pacific coast of Ecuador on Saturday.

The girl was almost at her last gasp when she was rescued, but all nearby hospitals were either too-badly damaged or too overcrowded to treat her.

During the emergency crisis the rescue team turned to the ECU911 system made by Chinese experts, and the girl was transported to a hospital in Guayaquil of Guayas Province by a military helicopter.

She is now out of danger after timely treatment, Minister of Security and Coordination Cesar Navas said.

During this earthquake, China's ECU911 emergency warning and monitoring system has helped save a number of lives, Navas added.

The ECU 911, designed and built by China National Electronics Import and Export Corp, connects Ecuador's various security and disaster relief agencies, such as police forces, fire departments, transportation, paramedic units and the Red Cross, to aid reaction speed to emergencies via a single telephone number, 911, said Wang Fei, manager of CEIEC' s Ecuador' s subsidiary.

By Tuesday afternoon, the magnitude-7.8 earthquake had claimed 499 lives, leaving 4027 injured and 231 missing. Covering the entire country via 16 command and control centers, the ECU911 is playing a key role in handling emergency needs from the quake-struck regions and coordinating rescue work.

ECU911 is an integrated system of police services, video surveillance with thousands of cameras, GPS, geographic information, and a smart analysis of resources, among others, said Wang.

In ECU911's headquarters in Quito, the red lights of the several telephones keep flashing with incoming calls. Information like the caller's location, a digital map and emergency briefings pop up within seconds on monitors after the SOS call. With all this data, coordinators can efficiently allocate resources and arrange rescue missions.

During the first two days after the quake, ECU911 handled 17,888 emergency cases.

"After the earthquake, we are operating at 100 percent to help grant the coverage the country needs," said Francisco Rolayo, Director of the ECU911 Quito Center.

"Our crisis center regroups help at all levels of government, to send food, rescue materials and other necessities while we also coordinate the planes being sent to help in relief efforts, mainly to the province of Manabi," Rolayo said.

ECU911 regional centers for the quake-struck areas like Esmeraldas, Portoviejo, Santo Domingo and Machala are also available to provide necessary services, he added.

Humanitarian aid

Meanwhile, the government response continues. President Rafael Correa said searching for survivors and caring for the wounded and displaced are top priorities.

International organizations and a number of countries have also activated their humanitarian aid plans for Ecuador.

President Xi Jinping sent a message to President Correa on Monday. In the message, Xi mourned extended condolences to families of the victims and those injured.

China's Red Cross has provided $100,000 in cash for emergency assistance to its Ecuadorean counterpart, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday.

In ECU911's headquarters, more than 20 Chinese technicians are working day and night to ensure this lifesaving system runs well at this critical moment.

"They came to the ECU911 center soon after the earthquake," said Sixto Heras, director of the Resources Coordination Department of ECU911, "and have been working with us side by side. I'm quite moved by their braveness. Thank you, my Chinese friends".

Chinese technology saves lives in Ecuador

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