Earthquakes rock Japan and Ecuador
Two massive earthquakes occurred in April, with massive damage and casualties in their wake. In Japan’s Kyushu region, a 7.0 earthquake left at least 32 people dead (another 6.2 earthquake hit two days prior). In Argentina, an even larger 7.8 earthquake left 272 confirmed dead, with the toll expected to rise as the debris is cleared.
In Japan, the first earthquake was large enough to be a major disaster; to have it followed by a second, larger one was absolutely devastating. The second one hit close to the city of Kumamoto, and left massive destruction in its wake including destroyed bridges and buildings. In the fallout, officials are scrambling to find survivors who might be trapped, while stores have been emptied of food and supplies.
In Ecuador it was a similar scene, with the Manabi Province being the hardest hit area, while destruction was still evident in the whole country. Officials scrambled to find survivors first, as President Rafael Correa explained, "The first hours are crucial. We're finding signs of life in the rubble. We're giving this priority. After, we'll work to find and recover bodies." In a show of solidarity, Columbia, Chile, Spain and Mexico sent manpower to help the rescue process, and the United States offered similar help. President Correa had immense praise for those involved in such efforts. "I have infinite gratitude to the spirit of the Ecuadorian people, of our firefighters, our soldiers, our policemen and all workers who haven't slept, haven't eaten as they work hard to save lives."