The Ecuadoran earthquake that struck last Saturday night was just the first hit. The initial shock registered 7.8, but hundreds of aftershocks continue to rattle the country. Many Ecuadorans are sleeping in shelters or outside, afraid to go back into their homes for fear the building will collapse on top of them.
Into that surreal scene a team from All Hands Volunteers has landed. They are in San Vicente now. Tanya Glanville-Wallis is among them. She spoke with NECN by phone and describes the scene in Bajir and Canoa, towns nearby.
"They are complete ghost towns at the moment so you've got mounds of rubble because what's come down is not just small houses," said Glanville-Wallis. "It's these high rise hotels and high rise buildings under which are still trapped countless bodies and there's still rescue teams in action trying to pull those out."
Right now they are assessing the needs of the displaced, deciding where they need go and what they need to do.
"This is currently an active seismic ring so we're still experiencing violent aftershocks," said Glanville-Wallis There was a 6.3 magnitude aftershock a couple of hours after we made it to San Vicente which is, obviously, quite precarious position to be in."
There is also the sad reality of what they are dealing with.
"One of the things I find most distressing is, honestly, the smell of death in the air. It's very disconcerting." runs," said Glanville-Wallis
The CEO of All Hands Volunteers, Erik Dyson, has been to many disaster zones and knows what his people are going through.
"It's humbling because you come to a disaster zone and you start to see people...what they're going through," said Dyson.