QUITO, ECUADOR (August 27, 2014) — A 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador on August 12 heavily damaged the main road that enables Covenant missionaries Joel and Kim Delp to do their work in Cayambe and may take up to six months to repair, Joel says.
The Delps are partnering with the Covenant Church of Ecuador on two projects—building and opening a home for at-risk children and a medical clinic. The couple live in north Quito near the international school where their son Simeon attends. They take him to classes in the morning, make the hourlong trip to Cayambe, and return by 3 p.m. to pick him up.
“The road that is now closed was a critical part in this plan,” Joel says. The primary alternate route could take up to three hours each way.
The earthquake and resulting aftershock caused landslides that cover the Pan-American Highway in some sections and tore it apart in others.
“Though the initial shock was large and very close to the capital city of Quito (and just kilometers from where we live), the damage was not extensive,” the Delps wrote on their blog. “Because of how they construct buildings down here, incredibly stable and secure, most buildings handled the quakes very well. We saw some windows broken in the factory across the street from us, but that was the extent of the damage in our area.”
The Delps posted a photo taken from the Internet, writing that it “is exactly what we saw from our window. After the initial quake, there were numerous small landslides that went down the sides of the mountains nearby us.”
The earthquake killed two people and injured at least eight others, according to government reports. Aftershocks shook the region for two days afterward.
No Ecuadorian Covenant churches reported damage from the earthquake, Joel says.