The Adventist Development and Relief Agency last month distributed disposable facemasks and eye solution to an estimated 4,500 families living near an active volcano in Ecuador.
Local officials declared the region a health hazard and asked residents to evacuate, but many indigenous families living nearby have chosen not to leave their family land. Ecuador’s Ministry of Health appealed to ADRA for support.
The facemasks serve to reduce inhalation of volcanic ash particles from the Tungurahua volcano, which again became active in late November. Eye drops will help alleviate severe redness and burning caused by ash.
Tungurahua is located roughly 90 miles south of the capital city of Quito. It has been steadily active since 1999, with only a few eruptions.
ADRA is working in the affected zones of Cantón Baños de Agua Santa, Cantón Pelileo and Oriental del Cantón Guano.
Prior to this latest volcanic eruption, ADRA has been present in the region, training community leaders techniques of evacuation and hazard preparation, in efforts to save lives. In addition, ADRA is training families how to prevent diseases caused by volcanic ash.
ADRA Ecuador, the ADRA Inter-American Regional Office, and ADRA International funded this initial $20,000 emergency response.