A pair of powerful floodlights illuminate the row of tents installed in the landing area of the old Reales Tamarindos Airport, in Portoviejo. There are up to 40 people accommodated under them.
There are children, adults, and seniors. Everyone has their own story of pain, fright, uncertainty, even of death and calamity, which started with the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed part of Portoviejo, Manta, Manabi Pedernales and other localities, including Esmeraldas, and until evening yesterday left 602 dead.
This refugees or evacuees camp is one of the largest in the disaster area. It ‘became populated’ since Sunday, a day after the destructive earthquake. That day seven tents were set up by about 200 evacuees, says Gisela Zambrano, one of the coordinators of the site. Yesterday dawned with 37 tents and 1,500 refugees.