More than 500 people were rescued today in four cantons of the coastal province of Esmeraldas, in the northwest of Ecuador, which were affected by the overflowing of six rivers due to heavy rains, informed the National Secretariat of Risk Management (Civil Defense).
The agency said in a statement that, so far, 530 people have been rescued with military boats and 30 with helicopters in actions carried out by Armed Forces and National Police personnel who are supporting the emergency.
“The central objective is to save lives and give all the attention to the citizens who are in the areas that have endured approximately 12 consecutive hours of rain between the night of June 3 and the early morning of June 4,” he said.
The heavy rains caused the overflowing of six rivers in the four cantons: Quinindé, Atacames, Esmeraldas, and Muisne, which caused flooding in several sectors, landslides, and damage to major roads.
The National Decentralized Risk Management System and a Joint Task Force of the Armed Forces and the National Police were activated to address the emergency, coordinating actions with the local authorities of Esmeraldas to evacuate the affected population.
The Armed Forces deployed 500 troops and the National Police 110 uniformed personnel, while the Risk Management Secretariat delivered humanitarian assistance kits.
Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, said through his Twitter account that several institutions are activated to provide the necessary attention to those affected.
He added that the Emergency Operations Committee (COE) of the province of Esmeraldas would meet at night to make a new evaluation of the tragedy.
On March 23, the National Committee for the Regional Study of the El Niño Phenomenon (Erfen) warned about an anomalous warming in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and said that it is likely that the rainy season will extend in the coastal area and, from the second half of 2023, the “El Niño” weather phenomenon will occur.
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