Collapsed bridge in Guayaquil

‘Books Flew Off the Shelves’

One day after a massive earthquake hit Ecuador, killing 272 people, the Chabad Shliach to the city of Guayaquil, Rabbi Uriel Tawil, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the damage.

From Arutz Sheva:

“The quake occurred Saturday night, toward the end of the Ma’ariv prayer,” Rabbi Uriel Tawil began, in an interview with haredi news outletHamevaser. “Suddenly, everything was shaking – and we were shocked, we didn’t know what might happen.”

“We left the building, gathered the children, and sat on a grass area in the courtyard, where we gather during an emergency,” Tawil continued. “We started to recite Tehilim (Psalms), and the children were crying in panic.”

“It lasted about two minutes,” he added. The average earthquake lasts between 30-40 seconds.

“Everything came crashing down,” he continued. “Surveillance footage from inside the synagogue shows that after we went outside, all of the books fell off their shelves; everything was on the floor.”

Rabbi Tawil then spoke about the aftermath.

“The situation now is of panic and fear among residents in the streets,” he said. “Many buildings have collapsed and [there is] a lot of damaged infrastructure – and, unfortunately, we know that there are 230 dead as of now and there may be a lot more casualties.”

He added, however, that as far as he knew, none of the Ecuadorian Jewish community members had been killed – nor the 200+ Israeli tourists currently in Ecuador.

Despite this, “we are trying to help as much as possible,” he stressed.

Click here to continue reading at Arutz Sheva.