Ecuador landslide kills at least 7 in the Andes, 23 hurt

As many as 500 people and 163 houses were affected, the country's risk agency said

Published : 28 March 2023, 05:27 AM
Updated : 28 March 2023, 05:27 AM

A landslide triggered by heavy rains in Ecuador's Andean region killed at least seven people, with 23 people hurt and almost 50 missing, the country's risk agency said on Monday in a revised report on Twitter.

Earlier, the agency reported that 16 people had died as a result of the landslide in the city of Alausi, in Ecuador's Chimborazo province. It did not explain the reasons for the revision but it did say that 32 people were rescued after a large amount of earth swept down on parts of the city of Alausi on Sunday night.

Its statement on Twitter hiked the number of missing to 46, from seven in its previous report. In all, 500 people and 163 houses were affected, the agency said.

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

Rescue workers searched for survivors in the rubble, aided by dogs. In some areas, most houses were completely buried by earth, according to a Reuters witness.

One stadium was completely buried after the mudslide, while another venue used for sports and music events collapsed.

Heavy rains have destroyed roads, bridges, and other infrastructure across Ecuador. President Guillermo Lasso earlier this month declared a state of emergency in the 14 provinces worst affected by the severe weather and a strong earthquake.