Architect Shigeru Ban is one of our favorites here at Inhabitat, but that’s usually just about his work. Now, we like him even more. Ban has traveled to Ecuador to pitch in after the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit on April 16, leaving more than 650 people dead and destroying many buildings in the towns of Muisne and Pedernales.
The Tokyo-born architect is no stranger to disaster recovery, having responded to a number of global disasters that left residents displaced. He worked to create emergency shelters for victims of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and also designed and built relief shelters from earthquake rubble in Nepal last year. He went to Ecuador to visit the affected areas to survey the damage, according to the College of Architects of Ecuador Provincial de Pichincha (CAE-P). The 2014 Pritzker Prize winner will also provide architectural training at a conference in Quito, the capital city.
Ecuador’s deadly earthquake occurred near Muisne, 110 miles from the capital. The official death toll currently sits at 654, and over 17,000 people have lost their homes. Days later, a strong aftershock rattled the coast but didn’t contribute substantially to the damage. International support has poured in from around the globe, and disaster relief agencies are continuing to accept donations in an attempt to help as many victims as possible.