Over 11 750 individuals were impacted by intense flooding between June 3 and June 4, 2023, in the Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador due to the overflowing of six rivers following continuous rainfall. The cantons of Esmeraldas, Atacames, Quinindé, and Muisne bore the brunt of the floods, resulting in extensive damage to properties and necessitating broad-scale evacuations.
Severe flooding has wrought havoc on Esmeraldas Province in Ecuador, affecting various communities in the cantons of Esmeraldas, Atacames, Quinindé, and Muisne. The flood, which occurred due to a period of heavy rainfall between June 3 and 4, has had a significant impact on the lives of over 11 000 people, prompting extensive rescue operations involving boats and helicopters. However, there have been no reported fatalities or missing persons in the wake of the disaster.
Esmeraldas Canton was among the areas hardest hit by the flooding. Vast areas are now underwater, leading to the damage of approximately 2 395 homes and directly affecting around 10 000 residents. The flooding also caused substantial damage to other essential structures, including a prison and several schools.
In Atacames Canton, flooding resulted in damage to four schools and 300 homes, impacting approximately 1 200 individuals. In Quinindé Canton, 150 homes were damaged, affecting around 350 people. Muisne Canton saw damage to 50 homes, affecting about 200 residents. In total, four houses were completely destroyed, leaving 16 individuals homeless.
The intense rainfall led to the overflow of six rivers in the affected regions, causing significant flooding. In Atacames Canton, the Súa and Tonchigüe rivers breached their banks. Meanwhile, the Teaone River in Esmeraldas Canton caused substantial flooding. The Cube, Viche, and Blanco rivers in Quinindé Canton also overflowed.
In addition to the immediate impact of the flooding, disaster authorities have revealed that the heavy rainfall has contributed to a total of 2 322 dangerous events reported since January 1, 2023. These incidents have resulted in 36 fatalities, with 174 homes completely destroyed and an additional 21 674 homes suffering damage. The recent floods in Esmeraldas are part of this larger pattern of severe weather events that have affected the country this year.
Emergency response measures have been implemented, including the evacuation of over 500 people by boat and 30 by helicopter. President Guillermo Lasso emphasized that the priority is to save lives, and rescue efforts are ongoing. The Risk Management Secretariat reported the evacuations, and schools in several towns where damage occurred have suspended classes. Five health centers were also affected by the flooding. The Armed Forces have deployed 500 troops, and the National Police have dispatched 110 officers to aid in the emergency.
1 Casi 12.000 personas afectadas por inundaciones en la provincia de Esmeraldas, en Ecuador – Local News 8 – June 4, 2023
2 Ecuador – Hundreds Rescued as Flooding Impacts Thousands in Esmeraldas Province – FloodList – June 5, 2023
3 More Than 500 People Evacuated After Ecuador Floods – MENAFN – June 5, 2023
Featured image credit: Chave
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