According to the SNGR risk management secretariat, since the beginning of the year, torrential rains in Ecuador have killed 22, destroyed 72 dwellings, and damaged more than 6,900 homes.
On Monday, search and rescue efforts continued in southern Ecuador as authorities sought out survivors of a landslide caused by months of intense precipitation that has resulted in at least seven fatalities. Over 60 people remain missing at this time.
In the village of Alausi, located in the province of Chimborazo, about 300 kilometres (180 miles) south of Quito, the mudslide occurred overnight on Sunday into Monday, burying scores of homes and harming 23, according to officials.
Residents were shocked, and many were in tears as they waited for news as rescuers combed through the rubble looking for survivors trapped beneath twisted metal sheets and splintered tree trunks.
“Five are buried here,” Manuel Upai, a 40-year-old laborer, told AFP, referring to relatives of his as he stared at the muddy ground.
The mudslides also damaged roads and forced the closure of three schools in Alausi, a village of about 45,000 people surrounded by lush hills.
Survivor Jose Agualsaca said, “I managed to escape with about 15 minutes to spare,” saying he was rushing to get things out of his house before the mud came.
So far, the heavy downpour has caused close to 1,000 dangerous events, such as landslides and flooding.
Following earlier landslides, the area that was destroyed on Sunday has been placed in a yellow warning risk zone since February.
Little over a week had passed since the severe earthquake that killed 15 people in Ecuador’s southwest border region with Peru.
Regarding what happened on Sunday and Monday, Guillermo Lasso, the President of Ecuador, tweeted that firefighters from nearby regions had raced to the community to aid those affected by the disaster.
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