In a highland village in Ecuador, a landslide that buried entire families under mud and debris resulted in at least 16 fatalities.
To look for trapped inhabitants in the Andes mountain canton of Alaus, firefighters, police, and specialized rescue teams have been sent.
The administration reported that at least seven persons were still missing, even though six had been recovered alive from the muck.
Tragic news from Ecuador as 16 people die in a mountain village landslide, with at least 7 missing and a dozen injured. Heavy rains and warnings of fault lines preceded the disaster. Rescue teams continue to search for survivors. #Ecuador #Landslide #Alausí #Chimborazo pic.twitter.com/WaLY8Dhjrb
— Volcaholic 🇰🇪 🇬🇧 🌋 (@CarolynnePries1) March 27, 2023
Almost a dozen people have sustained injuries.
According to local media, residents had reportedly warned of fault lines appearing in the region after heavy rains. The tarmac on the highway connecting Alaus with Guamote recently cracked open, forcing a temporary closure.
A local neighbor claimed to local media that “the mountainside went down like a rocket on Sunday night,” burying numerous homes in dirt and debris.
The local media shared a video of a section of mountain road that had fallen entirely.
Police earlier posted a video of people searching for survivors in the pitch-black environment using torches and spotlights.
Landslide on the Catamayo – Loja road. approx 3 kilometers from the Catamayo toll, in the province of Loja, Ecuador 🇪🇨 (27.03.2023)
— Disaster News (@Top_Disaster) March 27, 2023
As family members flocked to the area in search of their loved ones, local radio broadcasters described “heart-wrenching images.”
According to President Guillermo Lasso, the nation’s risk management organization has been informed and will assist those affected.
Due to these most recent landslides, one of the key routes connecting the cities of Riobamba and Cuenca had to be closed, making access to the area even more difficult.
The earthquake that slammed Ecuador’s southern coast and left more than a dozen people dead happened just over a week before the landslide.