maximum alert for winter season that already leaves at least seven dead

maximum alert for winter season that already leaves at least seven dead
maximum alert for winter season that already leaves at least seven dead

At least seven people died and several more are missing in Ecuador as a consequence of the strong winter season in the country, which caused avalanches and river overflows during the weekend.

To the six deceased on Sunday an avalanche in the tourist town of Baños, in the province of Tungurahua (central Andean), Added to this was the death of another person who was also surprised by a landslide while grazing cattle in neighboring Cotopaxi, said the Risk Management Secretariat.

Machinery with which they try to clean areas affected by the rains in the city of Baños (Ecuador).

Photo:EFE/Ministry of Public Works

The ministry added that ten people are missing in the Baños area and that another 30 people who were traveling on a bus about which there was no news until now were found and are “safe.”

“Several people are missing. “We are talking about the landslide practically taking away a neighborhood,” said the mayor of Baños, Marlon Guevara, to the Ecuavisa channel.

Historic rains in Baños, Ecuador

The official, through social networks, noted that “this is a rain that we had not had 20 years ago” and that “we have not been able to remove all the victims and all the injured that we have dammed in the (neighboring) sector of Río Verde.”

The number of injured in Baños rose from six to twenty, four of them in “critical” condition, Risk Management reported earlier.

Heavy rains over the weekend in the Amazon and Andean regions of Ecuador wreaked havoc in ten of the country’s 24 which numerous landslides and floods were reported.

According to figures from the National Secretariat for Risk Management (SNGR), So far there are 53 homes affected and 2 destroyed, as well as 13 public assets and 7 bridges affected. In the areas most affected by the rains there are roads enabled, others partially enabled and some more closed.

According to the Secretariat, between June 14 and this Monday, 70 adverse events due to rain have been recorded in 13 provinces.affecting 33 cantons and 55 parishes.

Among the most recurrent events are landslides (40 percent), floods (22.86 percent) and alluvium (18.57 percent).

During this period, among the provinces with the greatest impact on the population are the Andean provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo. and the Amazonian Morona Santiago and Napo. According to the SNGR, there are also 9 rivers with a tendency to increase their level in 4 provinces: Tungurahua (4), Chimborazo (2), Azuay (2) and Morona Santiago (1)

So far, the authorities have set up six temporary accommodations in the Amazonian provinces of Napo and Orellana, and in the Andean province of Tungurahua.

Oil pipeline paralyzed by rain

Due to the storm, which “significantly” accelerated the erosion of a river in the Amazonian province of Napo (east) through which the private Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline (OCP) crosses, the company suspended the transportation of some 200,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil from the fields in the jungle region to a port in the Pacific.

“OCP Ecuador proceeded with the suspension of the operation and closure of valves in a preventive manner,” the firm said in a statement. The measure was taken due to a “possible impact on the infrastructure of the pipeline.”

The OCP, with a total capacity of 450,000 b/d, is one of two Ecuadorian pipelines. The volume of the state Trans-Ecuadorian Oil Pipeline System (SOTE) is 360,000 b/d.

The state-owned Petroecuador has not reported any alterations in its production, transportation and export operations.

Oil is Ecuador’s main export product. In 2023 it exploited 475,000 b/d, of which it exported 66%.

Winter season in the country has caused avalanches and overflowing of rivers.

Photo:EFE/ Presidency of Ecuador

Given the effects of the rains, the town of Penipe, in the Andean province of Chimborazo (south), was declared an emergency due to the rapid growth of the Chambo River.

This Monday the cleaning of affected roads in Baños continued, where Classes in educational centers were suspended as in Penipe.

Due to heavy downpours, almost 200,000 people were affected by the inclement weather between January 29 and June 12.

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