Borough President Eric Adams and other elected officials led a candlelight vigil in Bushwick’s Maria Hernandez Park Wednesday night in remembrance of the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Ecaudor on Sunday, killing at least 480 people and injuring thousands. The South American country has not experienced an earthquake this devastating since a 7.7 magnitude quake hit in 1979.
Many residents of Bushwick have ties to Ecuador. The neighborhood holds one of the largest concentrations of Ecuadorian-Americans in the United States.
The vigil included community leaders, clergy, and elected officials, who will spoke about how Brooklynites can help in the massive recovery efforts currently underway.
Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna (who is also Antonio Reynoso’s predecessor as the member of City Council representing the 34th district, which includes part of Bushwick) kicked the meeting off reminding the assembled crowd that “it is important that we remain hopeful,” and that officials in New York want earthquake survivors to know that “Brooklyn stands with them.”
Borough President Eric Adams and state assembly members Francisco Moya and Maritza Davila offered similar sentiments, as did the members of the clergy.
One of the final speakers at the event was the 83rd precinct’s Deputy Inspector Maximo Tolentino, who characterized the fire that devastated five buildings on Bushwick’s DeKalb Ave several weeks ago as an occasion which gave the Bushwick community opportunity to test the emergency response capabilities which can be employed in support of earthquake survivors now. The Deputy Inspector urged Bushwick residents who want to donate to relief efforts to contact the Ecuadorian Consulate to do so to avoid scams.