Ecuador landslide kills 7, dozens missing

World Tuesday 28/March/2023 14:19 PM
By: DW
Ecuador landslide kills 7, dozens missing

Quito: At least seven people have died and 50 people were reported missing after a landslide hit Ecuador's Andean region, Ecuadorian officials said on Monday

The mudslide, which was triggered by months of heavy rainfall, took place on Sunday night, burying dozens of homes and injuring over 23 people, according to authorities.

Rescuers and civilians were seen trying to clear debris by hand and get to any survivors stuck under rubble.

Rescue operations underway
Ecuador's communications secretariat had initially reported that 16 people had died in the southern village of Alausi in Chimborazo province.

Later, it revised the toll and confirmed only the deaths of 7 people.

Close to 500 people and 163 houses have been affected, said officials.

A whole stadium has been buried while another venue used for sports and music events collapsed.

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso tweeted photos of rescue operations and said "You are not alone, the whole country is with you."

Ecuador's government also said that it had mobilized the national police, armed forces, the health ministry and the Red Cross to help with rescue efforts.

"We have had to witness a terrible tragedy. The first thing is to attend to and evacuate people from the houses," said Transport Minister Dario Herrera.

A series of disasters
The landslide in Alusi village came just one week after 15 people were killed by a strong earthquake which struck Ecuador's southwestern border region.

The earthquake itself caused 22 landslides in the region.

The government declared a two-month state of emergency in 13 of the 24 provinces in the country and distributed economic resources to affected areas.

Since the start of this year, Ecuador has witnessed heavy rains which caused the death of 22 people, destroyed 72 homes and damaged more than 6,900 houses, said the Risk Management Secretariat (SNGR).

The downpours have caused almost 1000 dangerous events of landslides and flooding.

Roads, bridges and other infrastructure across the country have been destroyed.

The rainy season in Ecuador's Andean valley can have rainy seasons that last till May.