Earthquake the Aftermath

“Natural disasters are terrifying – that loss of control, this feeling that something is just going to randomly end your life for absolutely no reason is terrifying. But, what scares me is the human reaction to it and how people behave when the rules of civility and society are obliterated.” Eli Roth
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Finally it was over, or was it?

The next day we were feeling very fortunate to have the Crucita area as good as it was. We visited the neighbors along our street and realized that most people only had superficially cracks in their homes. We swapped stories of what we did and how we felt as we experienced the earthquake. We were all scared, but feeling lucky. We had heard that there had been 3 aftershocks that previous night, which Leo and I slept through, but our neighbors went outside for each one.

We were all concerned to get word to our loved ones at home that we were OK, but that was impossible because the cell phones did not work properly, calls dropped constantly, internet did not work, we had no electricity.

We were lucky because we had water put in our cistern just before the earthquake. We cannot drink that water, but once the electricity comes back on we can get it pumped into the house, or as we did do, we used a bucket on a rope, to scoop out water to boil to cook with or just use to wash up, do dishes etc. Water had been scarce just before the earthquake, because there had been flooding in Portoviejo, so the water was all churned up and none was potable, not that anyone drinks it. We drink from big water cooler type jugs that we buy for $1.00 each.


Realizing that drinking water would be scarce for a while, Kent, our neighbor, stopped by with his jeep, and he and Leo gathered up empty water jugs and went to look for water. Leo knew of a place to go, so they were able to get a few jugs each. Luckily there was no price gouging.

Since the electricity was off, the food, even in the freezer, was thawing, and I had a few packages of hamburger meat, so I made up a big batch of spaghetti sauce and invited the neighbors nearby for dinner. I had some lettuce to make a salad and bread to dip in olive oil. We even had semi-cold beer to offer. Leo and several neighbors were at Kim and Ken’s (stars of House Hunters International) since they had a generator. They were there charging their cell phones. Leo told Kim and Ken to come for dinner also.  Everyone had to leave just before dark, because it is hard to maneuver our road in the dark.

The next day, Monday, Illa and Kent stopped by in their jeep and wanted to know if we wanted to go to Bill and Audrey’s with them. We said yes. Along the way, we stopped at various expat homes to see if they were OK. First we stopped at Brian’s and he was good. Then we went by Bob’s house but he was not there, then we went to Joy and Harold’s. Joy was very emotional and you could see the experience was very difficult for her. She was planning to visit family in the US soon, but she and Harold both decided to extend their visit a few months longer. Emotionally,after the quake is more difficult than the actual quake for most of us.

Then we went out to see Audrey and Bill. They lived next door to us when we lived at Los Ranchos Estates where Renate and Bob live now. Audrey has been less that happy with her stay here this past year. She has had a lot of aggravation with trying to build townhouses, get electric installed around the Estates which she and Bill own. Getting stuff done here is straining on the patience. They had already decided to leave in late May, but she told us that day, they were leaving tomorrow at 7:00 AM for Guayaquil and were going to buy the first ticket out of the country. We visited with them for a while and then went to see how Bob and Renate were doing. They were OK and had little damage. They had lived in CA and had experienced several earthquakes and she knew it was over 7.0 because she had been in a 7.3 and this was worse. She was right. She was without cooking because she had no electricity and an electric range. Most of the people cook with gas. Ecuador is trying to get people to buy electric lately and all the stores carry only electric induction ranges. Even in our house that we are renting now, has electric. Luckily Jenn, the owner, had a two burner camping stove that runs on gas. I had that outside hooked up to gas to use until we went to Portoviejo to a relative that had electricity. Then I loaned it to Roy and Teri who had electric cooking. Audrey and Bill had invited Bob and Renate over to eat each day until they left for the US.  Louise and Gary had a generator so several people went to their house daily to charge up their cell phones.I like the way people help each other. It is humanity acting at its best.

Scenes from Portoviejo







beginning of help for the injured

beginning of help for the injured


  1. Joyce,
    Thank you for sending us such a detailed message with pictures. We were all so worried for you. Glad to hear that you and your friends are getting by with the kindness of others 🙂 Hang in there. I don’t know how we could help but let us know if there is anything we can. do.
    Love to you both, Joan and John

  2. Thanks Joyce for a first hand account of what an earthquake is like , and the feelings afterwards, that is the first time I have had a first hand account on and earthquake, and it sounds sooo scary. It is so good of you to post and let us all know what you are going through and feeling, at this time.
    We will continue to pray for you and hope that everything will eventually settle back to the peaceful life you once had. It is very hard when you see such devastation everywhere, and so many deaths, Keep posting if you can, it is so good to hear all about it, and how you and Leo are doing.

    • Thanks, Phyllis for your words of encouragement. I am looking forward to things getting back to normal, too. I think I quit posting because I was feeling like I was posting the same old same old and I was probably boring my followers. I figured people would like to know about the earthquake, especially those contemplating a move to Ecuador. People figure few will want to move here now, but there are a few good things: big earthquakes happen every 40 years or so and the houses standing are built well and proven to stand up to an earthquake. (There is always a silver lining for people who look through rose colored glasses.) lol I hope you and Noel are doing well. Kisses to all of the family and some extra ones for the McKenna clan.

      • Love your blogs, and hearing about Ecuador, Earthquakes happen, and can happen anywhere. I know it is scary, and leaves you very anxious afterwards, but like all disasters, the shock fades with time and everyone gets back to daily living. You and Leo are handling it all very well. You are both very brave 🙂

        • Phyllis, thanks, glad you like the blog.I even can see that since the aftershocks have died down, I am feeling more at ease. I have some blogs coming up that show how we are getting back to normal. Thanks for reading the blog.

  3. Great post and very informative. So very glad you are both okay. We were really glad and relieved to see Shawn’s posting on Facebook that you guys were okay.

    • Thanks, glad you are enjoying the blog.We were so thankful that Sean got through on Skype, since communication was so bad for a while.We take all this technology for granted until disaster strikes and then it doesn’t work. In a 3rd world country we Cannot take this technology for granted on a good

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