Earthquake caused by the worst floods in years killed at least 11 in Ecuador

Ecuador ground
Rescue workers carried away the body of a victim after flash floods caused by rain collapsed a hillside, and brought waves of mud over houses in the La Gasca area of ​​Quito, Ecuador, February 1, 2022.

Dolores Ochoa / AP

Quito At least 11 people were killed and 32 injured on Monday after the worst flood hit Ecuador in nearly two decades, causing a massive landslide in the capital Quito, authorities said. Torrents of water with rocks and mud swept down an avenue in the Ecuadorian city, washing cars and flooding houses and streets, according to images released by the emergency services.

The flooding caused a water trap structure to overflow, sending a deadly stream to a nearby hill on a sports field where several people were exercising, authorities said at a virtual press conference.

Quito Mayor Santiago Guarderas initially said “there are eleven dead, 15 injured and we have eight collapsed structures.”

But municipal authorities later revised the figure after 32 injured and injured families were placed in local shelters.

Ecuador ground
Residents and soldiers are working to clear mud from streets after a rain-soaked hillside collapsed and brought waves of mud over La Gasca area of ​​Quito, Ecuador, February 1, 2022.

Dolores Ochoa / AP

The flooding began on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, which overlooks the nation’s capital.

Guarderas said Monday’s rainfall brought 75 liters per square meter to 3.5 liters on Saturday, with the forecast predicting two liters per square meter.

This is “a record number, which we have not had since 2003,” he added.

The affected area also lost power after electric poles were pulled down by the storm.

Heavy rains have hit 22 of Ecuador’s 24 provinces since October, killing at least 18 people and injuring 24, according to the National Risk Management Service.

Scientists say climate change increases the risk of heavy rainfall around the world because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.

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