Two quakes in Japan and one in Ecuador killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage late last week. Within 48 hours, an assessment team arrived to begin coordinating efforts. ShelterBox already had aid positioned in neighboring Colombia, as well as in Panama and Bolivia, which can be quickly transported into the country, but when such efforts are undertaken donations are needed to immediately replace the equipment so the organization remains able to respond to the inevitability of disasters elsewhere.
In Ecuador, the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Saturday night killed more than 400 people, with 2,500 injured. Those figures are expected to rise as rescue and recovery efforts continue.
In Japan, the quakes hit the southwestern part of the country, killing dozens and causing landslides that obliterated homes, businesses, and highways.
In addition to ShelterBox, Rotary District 4400 in Ecuador and District 2720 in Japan have each created a disaster relief fund to coordinate other types of donations and in-kind aid.
At any one time, ShelterBox is juggling multiple active relief efforts. For example, even before the most recent Ecuador and Japan disasters, it was working in Madagascar and Bolivia after both were devastated by massive landslides and flooding.
Our club already has made its 2015-16 contribution to purchase five ShelterBoxes (at $1,000 each) this year, but obviously there is no limit to what we can contribute. If you have not donated to ShelterBox this year but wish to join those who have, please check with our club’s ShelterBox Liaison Bill Dowd or treasurer Murray Forth for details.