Members of China's rescue team arrive at the airport of Manta, Ecuador, on April 20, 2016. During the deadly earthquake, China's ECU 911 emergency warning and monitoring system has helped save a number of lives. (Xinhua/Rong Hao)
By Xinhua Writers Liang Junqian, Xia Lin, Mao Pengfei
QUITO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- "Amigos from China, you are good!" Onlookers cheered up aloud when staff from China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd.(CAMC) pulled a little girl out of the rubble on Street Rocafuerte in Ecuador's city of Portoviejo, 20 hours after the magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit the country's costal region on Saturday.
By late Wednesday, the quake has claimed 553 lives, injured more than 4,000, leveled over 800 buildings and ripped off roads some 1,000 kilometers long.
RESCUING LIFE AGAINST TIME
The CAMC rescuers arrived in the affected city some 30 kilometers from the Pacific coast in 10 hours after the disaster occurred, bringing with them 17 vehicles for excavation and loading purposes.
Right on Sunday afternoon, they saved a 27-year-old woman out of the basement of a four-floor house on Street Alhajuela and later another one on Street Malawi.0 All the three victims saved by the Chinese company are now out of danger after timely treatment.
Besides Portoviejo, the CAMC company also dispatched to the affected cities of Guayaquil and Quito over a dozen of trucks loaded with water, candles, biscuits, canned food and other relief supplies.
CAMC is not the only Chinese company in Ecuador that has come to the rescue. After more than 20 hours of trekking, 24 employees from China International Water and Electric Corp. arrived on Monday at Jama Town, 70 kilometers away from the epicenter of Pedernales.
Staff members of China International Water & Electric Corp. (CIWE) deploy rescue mission in Manabi, Ecuador, April 19, 2016. The first batch of CIWE rescuers arrived in Manabi on April 18 to clean up the debris and repair damaged roads. (Xinhua)
With the help of heavy-duty equipment they brought along, the workers cleaned the main roads and resumed traffic, braving consistent downpour and occasional landslides. Finally they carved a lifeline through the piled-up debris so that medical and logistic rescuers could enter the scene.
In the early morning on Wednesday, the transportation network in the ravaged port city of Guayaquil in Guayas Province was partially resumed, thanks to the emergency response professionals from Huawei, a leading Chinese producer and developer of communication technology and equipment that has business in the South American nation.
Working on a tight schedule, the Huawei technicians rallied within 30 minutes after the quake hit and mixed with local partners to maintain telecommunication services and power supplies, as the demand tends to soar when disaster hits.
COORDINATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
On Sunday morning, a four-year-old girl in the port city of Manta was rescued after being buried for eight hours. She was close to death at that time.
However, all the nearby hospitals were either too badly damaged or overcrowded with seriously injured victims and unable to hospitalize her. The rescuers then turned to ECU 911 for help.
The nationwide integrated system for emergency responses, designed and built by China National Electronics Import and Export Corp., connects Ecuador's various security and disaster relief agencies from the police, fire department, transportation and paramedic units to the Red Cross, so as to facilitate emergency response. It has altogether handled over 20,000 cases in four days after the earthquake.
Employees of the ECU 911 Integrated Security Service (SIS) work after the earthquake in Manabi province, Ecuador, on April 20, 2016. (Xinhua/Rong Hao)
Once getting the phone call from rescuers, ECU 911 immediately designated a military helicopter to take the girl to Guayaquil for hospitalization, a decision that saved her from the almost certain death.
In the ECU 911 headquarters in Quito, over 20 Chinese engineers, along with their Ecuadorian colleagues, work day and night to ensure this life-saving system runs well.
"Our crisis center re-groups the help at all levels of the government to send food, rescue materials and other necessities ... we also coordinate the planes sent for relief mainly in Manabi Province," Francisco Rolayo, director of ECU 911's Quito center, told Xinhua.
By simply dialing 911, the 16 commanding and control posts of ECU 911 across the nation have played a key role in handling emergency situations.
Many Ecuadorians said that in their country, the Chinese enterprises are always reliable and ready to help them in natural disasters.
Currently over 120 Chinese industrial and business bodies have registered in the Chinese embassy in Ecuador. Their businesses range from hydraulic electricity generation and road and bridge construction to communication and financial services.