Earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan, Brazil’s Impeachment Proceedings, and the Election Update

Due to a crazy work (and school) week on our end, here are the Top Four News Stories that you need to know:


  1. Ecuador Earthquake
    Ecuador Earthquake
    Map of the earthquake that struck Ecuador and the affect regions (Image Courtesy of BBC)
    • What You Need to Know: On Saturday night, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the northwest coast of Ecuador. With this being the strongest since 1979, more than 525 people have been killed at the time of this post and the number is expected to rise as rescuers and families search for the missing. President Rafael Correa says that there is evidence that people are still alive underneath the debris and that those individuals are being prioritized, but that the death toll is expected to continue to rise. He flew back to Ecuador, cutting his visit to Italy short as soon as the earthquake hit. Correa declared a state of emergency and deployed 13,500 emergency service individuals made up of troops and police to the areas affected. More than 2,500 individuals have been injured, many in Pedernales, the town closest to the epicenter of the quake. The Mayor of Pedernales, Gabriel Alcivar, said that as many as 400 from the town are feared dead and the “entire town has been flattened”. Looting has also broken out in the region as well as in other affected towns. Portoviejo has experience looting and loss of power and supplies in the area. Many of the individuals of the town gathered at the former airport to get supplies and water. At the same time, part of the city’s prison crumbled which allowed 100 inmates to escape. Although some were recaptured, several still remain on the run. For more information on this story, visit
    • Why You Need to Know This: Ecuador was completely unprepared for this deadline earthquake. The death toll continues to rise as more bodies are uncovered, but emergency services are still trying to find any who are still alive under the debris. Funerals have already been held for several in the area, but the devastation will be felt for a long period of time. There are worries of other earthquakes or aftershocks hitting the area, but so far nothing has happened. The entire country is on alert for anything that might happen. Another important thing to note is that scientists have said that this earthquake was also not related to the earthquake that happened in Japan.
    • Office Top Tip: Know the natural disaster plan for the country that you’re going to. If you’re going to somewhere that has experienced a natural disaster in the recent past, be sure to know the emergency plans.
  2. Japan Earthquake
    Japan Earthquake
    The Map of the earthquakes that struck Japan (Image Courtesy of the BBC)
    • What You Need to Know: Last week, Japan was struck by two earthquakes: the first occurred on Thursday near the city of Kumamoto on the Southern Island of Japan, Kyushu; the quake was a 6.4-magnitude. Then on Saturday, the same city was hit when a 7.3-magnitude quake struck the region. Both quakes were relatively shallow, causing massive amounts of damage to transportation byways and cause landslides, cutting off mountain villages. The quakes killed 42 people, the number being relatively low due to the strict building code Japan has due to many earthquakes in the region to begin with. 1,000 are injured and several thousands of rescue workers are looking for survivors. However, more than 250,000 people are being told to leave their homes in the region due to fears of more earthquakes hitting the region. Those who are being evacuated have complained of little food and water at the makeshift shelters that have been erected. The Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is insisting that the government is doing its best to solve the crisis. However, many critics are coming forward, saying that the parliament is putting forward a lackluster effort in terms of relief efforts. For more information on this story, visit
    • Why You Need to Know This: Japan is slightly more prepared to handle earthquakes compared to what happened in Ecuador. However, this pair of earthquakes has wrecked massive havoc on the transportation systems on the Southern Island, Kyushu. With hundreds stranded in mountains towns, the lack of available transportation and needed supplies has made things much worse.
    • Office Top Tip: If you are planning on traveling to Japan, be very aware of the probability of Earthquakes in the region. They will have plans on how to handle them, so be aware of how the region takes precautions and what to do in event of one.
  3. Rousseff Impeachment Moving Forward
    Rouseff Path
    How the Impeachment Process works in Brazil (Image Courtesy of the BBC)
    • What You Need to Know: Brazil’s parliament will begin impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. The lower house of parliament took the two-thirds majority vote that was needed to push proceedings forward. Rousseff is being charged with manipulating government accounts, some that could have helped her get re-elected in 2014. There are budget targets that Congress sets and that the government is required to meet; Rousseff is said to have used “creative accounting techniques” to enhance the targets. The Senate now has to vote on whether or not to go forward with the trial. If there is not a majority vote, then Rousseff will remain in office and the charges are dropped; if the majority vote for a trial, Rousseff will be suspended as President and the trial could last up to 180 days. Three of Rousseff’s potential successors also face corruption allegations, Vice-President Michel Temer, Speaker Eduardo Cunha, and Renan Calheiros. The three men are from the PMDB party that was originally allied with the ruling Workers’ Party, but now has abandoned it and Rousseff to vote for impeachment. The Workers’ Party announced that they would fight for Rousseff “in the streets and in the Senate”, meaning that there could be dark days for Brazil in the coming weeks. For more information on this story, visit
    • Why You Need to Know This: If Rousseff is impeached, this could send the entire region into chaos. If Rousseff’s fellow Workers’ Party members are also impeached, there is no telling who will end up as President or what this means for the party. With former president also undergoing investigations, the Workers’ Party, which was once highlighted and lauded as the party that changed Brazil into an economically sound and civil rights front runner.
    • Office Top Tip: If you are planning on being in Brazil, or anywhere in South America, this will be a hot topic. Be sure that you stay informed and ask questions!
  4. Election Update
    Trump in his Post-NY win speech (Image Courtesy of the BBC)
    • What You Need to Know: Yesterday was one of the most important primaries in the nomination season, New York. The state is divided up into 29 districts with 95 delegates at stake for both parties. Donald Trump came away with a smashing victory in New York, however seemed incredibly reserved during his victory speech. He has had a rough few weeks on the trail, but after hiring several experienced political workers to handle his campaign, he seems to have calmed down exponentially. Although he was subdued yesterday, only time will tell to see if Trump will actually gain the nomination and the support of the Republican Party. As for the Democrats, Hilary Clinton took the state in which she was once a Senator. This was a key victory for her campaign, despite taking less than 14 precincts. Clinton has taken a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders and is only 453 delegates shy of the 2383 that is needed to secure the party nomination. For more information on this story, visit
    • Why You Need to Know This: The Presidential primary season is beginning to wind down and it is looking like the candidates have already been solidified with Trump and Clinton. But there are still several primaries left, including Indiana’s! It is still a race to the finish.
    • Office Top Tip: If your state hasn’t voted, like Indiana, be sure to get out and vote!


Check back next week for more news so you can Know Before You Go!

All stories are based off of information gather from CNN, the New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, and the Telegraph.

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