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Death toll rises to 19 in gigantic landslide in Andean area of Ecuador

The number of deaths caused by the landslide of great magnitude that occurred last March 26 in the Alausí canton, in the province of Chimborazo, in the central Andean region of Ecuador, rose to 19, as informed yesterday, Thursday, the Prosecutor General’s Office (FGE).

“19 deaths confirmed after the landslide occurred on Sunday in Alausí. The Attorney General’s Office ordered the removal of two more corpses, recently found in the rubble. Once identified, they will be handed over to their families,” the FGE published Thursday night on its Twitter account.

The agency is involved in removing bodies in the ‘ground zero’, where the deadly landslide affected an area of 24.3 hectares burying at least fifty homes in this rural area of the South American country.

The death toll from the landslide has risen daily as relief teams search for survivors in the rubble.

Death toll rises to 19 in a gigantic landslide in the Andean area of Ecuador. (Photo internet reproduction)
Death toll rises to 19 in a gigantic landslide in the Andean area of Ecuador. (Photo internet reproduction)

The Secretariat of Risk Management indicated in its last report on Thursday at 16:23 local time that there are preliminarily 57 homes destroyed and 163 affected, in addition to increasing the number of people affected to 656.

Likewise, 37 injured, 72 missing, and 500 people affected have been confirmed so far, with 32 people rescued on site and damage to essential services, public and private property, and local roads.

For the fourth consecutive day, more than 300 rescuers and firefighters continued searching for those trapped by the avalanche amid lousy weather in the area due to the winter that the country is enduring.

According to the local press, drones with high-range cameras are being used in the search efforts to determine safe areas and to continue with the rescues.

The area remains cordoned off and guarded by police and military who prevent the passage of the inhabitants due to the fear of new landslides due to cracks in another hill near the mountain that buried the houses in the sector of Causal in Alausi.

This canton is in a 60-day emergency declared last March 15 by the local government; a yellow alert has been in effect since last February after detecting an extensive area susceptible to mass movements in communities.

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