Aid workers rescued as new tremors hit Ecuador

25 April 2016: Red Cross workers assessing humanitarian aid needs in Ecuador following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake were themselves cut off when aftershocks triggered a landslide.

The charity team was able to call for help using an IsatPhone Pro satellite phone provided by Inmarsat-sponsored Télécoms Sans Frontières.

IsatPhone-Pro

A team from the telecoms aid agency arrived in the country on 18 April, two days after the quake hit, killing over 600 people, injuring thousands and destroying many towns.

Humanitarian calls

TSF is working alongside assessment teams in the most affected areas, equipping them with satellite equipment, including BGAN terminals, to improve evaluation efforts and allow survivors to make calls to loved ones.

Beyond the assessments, this connectivity has proven vital for the teams’ security, as new tremors and aftershocks continue to hamper relief efforts.

TSF’s Head of Mission, Armando Samayoa, explained: “The Red Cross assessment units were blocked by mudslides on the road to Pedernales. Thanks to the satellite lines they were able to call for help.”