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Deadly landslide hits Alausí, Ecuador, destroying homes and part of Pan-American Highway

Deadly landslide hits Alausi, Ecuador, destroying homes and part of Pan-American Highway

At least 16 people were killed and 7 are missing after a landslide hit Ecuador’s mountain village of Alausí.

On Sunday, March 26, 2023, a tragic landslide occurred in the mountain village of Alausi in Ecuador’s Chimborazo province, resulting in 16 fatalities, 7 missing persons, and 16 injuries. The village, situated in the Andes mountain range, is approximately 220 km (137 miles) south of the nation’s capital, Quito.

The catastrophe caused significant damage, including the destruction of a section of the Pan-American Highway.

Emergency response teams, including firefighters, police, and specialized rescue personnel, have been working to locate and save those trapped under the debris. To date, six individuals have been found alive, while the search for at least seven missing persons continues. The landslide has affected around 500 people in total.

A local resident recounted the terrifying landslide, stating that the mountainside came crashing down “like a rocket” on Sunday evening, engulfing multiple homes in earth and rock.

Heavy rainfall in the region led to the formation of fault lines, as reported by local media. These warnings were evident when the highway connecting Alausí and Guamote was indefinitely shut down due to cracks in the tarmac.

To prevent further casualties, Ivan Vinueza, the governor of Chimborazo, ordered evacuations in the affected area, as new landslides are a potential risk.

President Guillermo Lasso had previously declared a state of emergency in 14 provinces that were experiencing extreme weather conditions.

The Andean nation has been grappling with the consequences of heavy rainfall since the start of the year, with a death toll of 22 people.

YouTube video
YouTube video

Update:

11:03 UTC, March 28

On March 27, officials reported 16 deaths, but President Guillermo Lasso put the confirmed toll at 7 as he arrived at the scene of the disaster in Alausí late Monday.

The reports mention more than 30 rescued people and 23 hospitalized.

Around 163 homes and 1 school have been damaged or destroyed.

Water and power infrastructure were also impacted.

Residents living in about 600 homes in the area, considered to be at risk, have been ordered to evacuate.

07:47 UTC, March 30

On March 29, authorities reported 12 fatalities, 67 missing, 31 injured and 32 rescued people. In addition, 500 people have been affected as well as more than 160 houses.

07:47 UTC, April 28

As of April 27, 49 fatalities and 39 missing persons were reported following the landslide.

References:

1 Ecuador landslide: More than a dozen killed in Alausí – BBC – March 27, 2023

2 Landslide in central Ecuador kills at least 16 people – AP – March 27, 2023

3 Ecuador landslide kills at least 16, others reported missing – Al Jazeera – March 27, 2023

Featured image credit: TC Television (stillshot)

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3 Comments

  1. Hey

    About my, Petri Mölsä, posting.

    Do not put that profile picture there!!!

    Where did it appear anyway? Awful to celebrate while others suffer. Remove it.

    Thank you.

  2. Condolences to all mourning who confronted losses,
    Locals suffer like from the “end of the world” and what do fellow humans do?
    Humanity is turning a blind eye to the disasters that ravage the earth.
    Impossible to tame nature’s powers unless we all unite and call the true Name of God to halt the deadly cycle we are in.

    https://www.facebook.com/GreatTrueNameofGod/posts/pfbid0iZihpSH9RgG6mNGh2Hg18mnDi2oWvZj5w8iK4CRoVFuuPLqfrHMDE4QgiBvidtqzl

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