NC State prof moved by generosity after Ecuador earthquake
Posted April 18, 2016
QUITO, ECUADOR — Dr. Patricia Marshall, a professor at North Carolina State University, found herself in the midst of disaster this weekend when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador.
"I felt this slight tremble under my chair," Marshall said via Skype. "My building was moving, the structure was moving, and it was pretty frightening."
Marshall, who is teaching in Ecuador for a year, said she was able to quickly run out of her ground-floor apartment in Quito.
"I came out and said, 'This is an earthquake yeah?' And they were like, 'Si!,'" she said.
The devastating earthquake hit the coastal region the hardest. The death toll has risen to more than 400, and at least 2,527 people were hurt.
Marshall said she quickly had to get the word to friends and family that she was OK.
"I said, 'I just had to hear your voice. We just had an earthquake here’," she said.
As the search for survivors continues, Marshall said she is moved by the generosity around her.
Many counties have sent aid, and donations of water and food are piling up, she said.
Watching constant news coverage of the devastation is emotional, but Marshall said there is one image she cannot get out of her mind.
"The image that is locked in my head is that collapsed overpass...the highway in Guayaquil where I had just been," she said.
Marshall said those types of images have changed her perspective, helped her to treasure every moment and deepened her love to Ecuador.