WATCH: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused fear and panic when it struck Ecuador, crushing roads, homes and lives. Monica Martinez reports.
At least 350 people died and more than 2,000 are injured. Countless others are still missing.
The epicenter hit Ecuador’s Pacific coast, but was powerful enough to be felt hundreds of kilometres away in the capital Quito.
Victoria resident and volleyball hall of famer, Victor Lindal, was in Ecuador and was in a plane on the tarmac at Quito’s airport when the quake struck.
“And the plane started to rock and roll and I thought this is a very strange way to warm a plane up,” Lindal said from a hotel rom in Cuenca.
The destruction has destroyed coastal communities, but in Quito there is little damage. Still, aide groups line the streets trying to help.
“The mood is very somber,” said Lindal. “The people are very quiet. They are doing what they can to raise water, food and clothing for the people in the devastated areas.”
Among the dead are two Quebecers. Jennifer Maws and her 12-year-old son Arthur. They lived in Ecuador with her husband Pascal LaFlamme and daughter Laurie-Anne, who both survived with minor injuries.
“It’s something that you never think for one second that will happen to us. Now we know it can happen, it can happen to anybody,” said uncle Guy LaFlamme.
The Red Cross is appealing for donations to help provide water, shelter and first aid equipment, asking Canadians to give as the search and rescue efforts continue.