As many of you will have heard, Ecuador suffered its most devastating earthquake in 40 years over the weekend. The 7.8-magnitude quake earthquake struck on April 16th, with ongoing tremors, including a 6.1-magnitude aftershock recorded on Tuesday night.
The Manabí Province of Ecuador, including the city of Manta, the birthplace of the Panama hat, was hit particularly hard, with officials reporting more than 100 deaths and at least 370 buildings destroyed. The Panama industry is a major contributor to the local economy. Borges & Scott know the region well and were most upset to hear about the damage caused. We've been in touch with our hat makers - fortunately they have generally been lucky and not injured. However, homes and friends have been lost.
Earthquake survivors in Manta, Ecuador in line for food and water
Obviously the immediate concern is that basic needs such as food and shelter are met. Longer-term the Panama hat industry will be an important player in rebuilding the region and the lives of those affected and we look forward to being a part of this.
Aid agencies are stepping up help for Ecuador amid concerns over the conditions faced by survivors. Thousands of people are left homeless, making them vulnerable to dirty drinking water and disease. If you would like to help, please join us in making a donation by visiting Oxfam's site here: