Heavy rains trigger deadly landslide, leave more than 250 000 without drinking water in Cuenca, Ecuador
Heavy rainfall affecting southern Ecuador, particularly the province of Azuay, over the past 48 hours caused numerous landslides resulting in casualties and damage.
On March 28, the Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos reported 4 fatalities, 4 injured people, around 15 damaged houses and damaged roads due to a landslide in Cuenca City during the afternoon hours (LT) of March 27.1
Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios said Monday, March 28 they are still searching through collapsed structures and debris for bodies but hope most of the missing have found safety.2
“The official death toll remains four,” Palacios said. “We have evacuated about 400 people from Marianza and the hills just above Sayausi due to instability of the ground,” he said. “Our big concern today is that we receive more rain which could trigger more ground movement.”
La tragedia en #Sayausí. Un aluvión que sepultó casas y más de 5 km de la vía #Cuenca – Molleturo con rocas y lodo.
La sospecha del ministro @MarceloHCabrera es que se habría algún taponamiento o dique en la parte alta de la montaña. pic.twitter.com/eQnKlWcuhd
— Jaime Plaza (@jplazaecu) March 29, 2022
Este es el estado en el que quedó una de las viviendas, que fue impactada por el alud ayer en Marianza, en Sayausí, en #Cuenca. Imágenes: Fabián Cárdenas. pic.twitter.com/R3ws3eC2Md
— W Radio EC (@WRadioec) March 29, 2022
Lamentablemente invierno sigue afectando y dejando pérdida de vidas. Recorremos la zona afectada en el km 12 de la vía a El Cajas, en #Azuay; 4 deslizamientos taparon por completo la vía. Se trabaja articuladamente con otras instituciones y ya se limpió uno de los derrumbes. pic.twitter.com/XbauJElesH
— Marcelo Cabrera P. (@MarceloHCabrera) March 28, 2022
El vehículo que fue arrastrado por el aluvión en #Sayausí fue ubicado en el río Tomebamba, #Cuenca.
Personal de #BomberosCuenca hizo un barrido por las orillas en busca del cuerpo de una persona, quien aparentemente estaba al interior del automotor. pic.twitter.com/XwXm4fK7Jm
— Tendencias (@Tendencias_Cuen) March 29, 2022
According to the public utility ETAPA, three water processing facilities in the Cajas Mountains watershed – El Cebollar, San Pedro and Culebrillas – were affected by Sunday’s landslides and flooding.
“The flooding has generated turbidity in our treatment ponds and we must allow settlement before we can reopen the valves,” ETAPA officials said, adding that there was no indication of bacterial contamination in the water flowing into homes, even if it discolored. “All water coming into residences has been treated.”
An estimated 40 000 tons of rock and mud ended up on the Cajas highway, blocking all traffic.
Work crews and heavy machinery are on stand-by as officials are still waiting for slide activity to subside before ordering them to move in.
1 Ecuador – Landslide and earthquake (GDACS, USGS, Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos, INAMHI, media) – ECHO Daily Flash of 28 March 2022
2 250,000 without drinking water following Sayausi landslides; Search for more bodies continues – Cuenca High Life
Featured image credit: Marcelo Cabrera P.
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Cuenca – on the radar for expats as a livable low cost city.