Colombia nationals trying to get home after surviving earthquake in Equador

Latin America

Colombia nationals trying to get home after surviving earthquake in Equador

Weeks after the earthquake that devastated Ecuador and left hundreds dead, Colombian authorities are still trying to bring home hundreds of Colombian nationals who lived through the ordeal.

CCTV Correspondent, Michelle Begue reports from Bogotá.
Follow Michelle Begue on Twitter @mbegue

Colombia nationals trying to get home after surviving earthquake in Equador

Weeks after the earthquake that devastated Ecuador and left hundreds dead, Colombian authorities are still trying to bring home hundreds of Colombian nationals who lived through the ordeal. CCTV Correspondent, Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

30-year-old dentist Arled Britto had been living in Ecuador for the last 13 years. When the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on April 16th, she lost her dentistry office and her home. This is why she decided to come back to Colombia with her family and start a new life.

“During the earthquake I reacted like a desperate woman. I ran out to the streets screaming with my daughter in my arms because I didn’t know where to go. I felt total despair,” Britto said.

Britto was on the latest Colombian Air Force flight to Bogotá that carried Colombian nationals who lost everything in the earthquake.

The foreign minister says so far 550 Colombians have repatriated to their mother country to rebuild their lives.

Tami Argueyes was living with her husband in Ecuador for the last four years, where he worked at a hotel.

“It felt like the world was ending, when we walked outside everything was ruined,” Argueyes said. “We lost a lot of beautiful people in this tragedy,”

Officials tell CCTV there is one more scheduled flight that will bring home around 80 Colombian search and rescue personnel that have been helping in relief efforts.

Aid has been flown in from Colombia and neighboring countries to help Ecuadorians who have lost schools, roads, bridges, buildings – and more than 650 lives.

According to Ecuadorian authorities, the latest death toll stands at 659, with 42 missing and more than 30,000 men and women living in refugee camps.