World / Latin America

Chinese companies help in disaster relief after Ecuador's earthquake

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-30 14:34

QUITO -- Chinese companies in Ecuador have actively engaged themselves in disaster relief operations immediately following the deadly earthquake in Ecuador, which struck the country's coastal regions on April 16 and left 659 people dead and over 4,000 injured.

The Chinese rescue team arrived in the coastal provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas just a few hours after the quake. Construction company CAMC Engineering dispatched its employees to help find survivors in Manabi's capital Portoviejo and build a hospital there, according to the company's director in Ecuador, Yang Liang.

"We provided 17 machine including excavators, cranes and trucks for rescuing and removing rubble," he said.

In coordination with Ecuadorian rescuers, the company's personnel have found four people alive and pulled out 47 bodies in three days. Its experts and engineers also worked with the local police to assess the risk of the damaged buildings in Portoviejo.

The company also sent three search and rescuing teams to the town of Pedernales that suffered the highest casualties, and 13 trucks loaded with water, cereals, tinned food and other aid to the affected Guayaquil and Quito.

Another Chinese company participating in the relief was China International Water and Electric Corp, which has sent 24 employees to assist in Jama town in Manabi.

With the help of heavy machinery, the Chinese team cleared the main street, removed debris, and help restore traffic to facilitate the entry of outside medical and logistical personnel.

China's technical company Huawei is also on the move, helping within hours to repair the bridge devastated in the quake and restore the local electricity and telecommunication services in the city of Guayaquil.

Another bright spot is the establishment and operation of the emergency response system, which has played a vital role in dealing with the thousands of emergen

cy cases reported after the earthquake.

The Integrated Security Service (ECU 911), designed and built by China National Electronics Import and Export Corp. (CEIEC), has served as Ecuador's national emergency response system with 16 posts across the country connecting various security and disaster relief agencies from the police to fire departments, and transportation and paramedic units to the Red Cross.

In an interview with Xinhua, the company's director in Ecuador, Wang Fei, said that 20 Chinese engineers arrived at the ECU 911 headquarters in Quito minutes after the earthquake, so as to ensure the life-saving service functions well.

"This system was of great help to the authorities in making decisions to deal with the emergency," said Wang.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce for Chinese Companies in Ecuador, made up of over 120 Chinese enterprises including Huawei and Gezhouba, donated $138,000 on April 21 to help fund Ecuador's disaster relief.

"Our Ecuadorian brothers are in a difficult situation," said the Chamber's chief Zhao Xinjun. "We have an obligation and responsibility to help them."

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