Landslides, rain kills at least 24 as the capital of Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador — City officials said Tuesday that at least 24 people were killed in the collapse of a rain-sensitive hillside in the capital of Ecuador, which struck houses and playgrounds.

Quito security said at least 48 people were injured, eight homes were destroyed and others were damaged when the hillside collapsed late Monday. Authorities also reported 12 missing persons.

Neighbors joined rescue workers to search the ruins for the survivors of the disaster that struck after nearly 24 hours of rainfall.

Rescue workers look for people
On February 1, 2022, residents and rescue workers searched for people in the car after a rain-sensitive hillside collapsed in the Lagaska district of Quito, Ecuador, and a wave of mud rushed in. (Dolores Ochoa / AP Photo)

The storm was throbbing outside when Imerda Pacheco said he felt the house move as if an earthquake had occurred. Suddenly, water and rocks began to flow through the doors and windows, and she escaped before the building was destroyed.

“I had little time to hold my four-year-old son’s hand and rushed to the stairs and terraces. Suddenly the front and side walls disappeared,” she told The Associated Press.

“We shouted to our neighbors on the ground floor, but the water carried away our mother and daughter,” she said, standing in front of the ruins of her house.

“I thought I’d die with my son. I hugged him tightly and we trembled. I think it was because of the cold and fear. We barely survived,” she added, tears. I shed it.

The street after the collapse of the hillside in the rain
On February 1, 2022, mud filled the streets after a rain-weak hillside collapsed and mud waves flooded the Lagaska district of Quito, Ecuador. (Dolores Ochoa / AP Photo)

Mud waves, about 3 meters (10 feet) high haul vehicles, motorcycles, trash cans and other debris when heavy rains fall near Lagasca and Lacomna under the slopes of Mount Rukopitincha.

When the rescue began, police demanded silence so that the screams of the trapped people could be heard.

Mayor of Kito, Santiago Gardenas, said heavy rains saturated the soil and caused landslides.

On Tuesday, small waves of muddy water continued to flow down the canyon, past stones, tree trunks, and tired neighbors trying to move debris. Some of the vehicles such as taxis that had fallen were buried in the mud of the playground.

“I lost everything. Nothing. 65-year-old Laura Quiñones, who stood by an ambulance when her neighbor tried to get the appliances back from the destroyed house, said.

Gonzalo Solano

Associated Press