JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Families dig for missing in Ecuador landslide as deaths rise to 11

Families dig for missing in Ecuador landslide as deaths rise to 11

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 10:57 GMT+7
Families dig for missing in Ecuador landslide as deaths rise to 11
A view shows the site of a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

ALAUSI, Ecuador -- The official death toll from a landslide in Ecuador rose to 11 on Tuesday evening as families and rescue groups worked to find dozens of people still missing after large amounts of earth smothered buildings and a stadium in the small city of Alausi.

Using spades, relatives dug through the dirt in places they believe their loved ones were when the landslide hit in the Andean province of Chimborazo on Sunday night after heavy rains.

About 67 people were still missing as of Tuesday, according to Ecuador's disaster agency, and around 32 survivors had been rescued.

People dig amid debris as they look for relatives, following a landslide, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters
People dig amid debris as they look for relatives, following a landslide, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"We've not received help, we've been searching since Monday, we cannot leave our relatives here in the earth," said a tearful Sandra Caranqui, 32, on Tuesday.

She and other family members were searching for her missing father and four siblings following the landslide, which authorities said affected about 163 buildings and 500 people.

View of the site of a landslide triggered by heavy rains, during rescue operations, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters
View of the site of a landslide triggered by heavy rains, during rescue operations, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"We no longer have hope that they're alive," Caranqui said. "They've been in there for two days."

Professional rescuers also worked through the night using digging equipment. Jorge Montanero, chief of the city of Guayaquil's fire department rescue group, told journalists the search would go on.

People collect food items from a collection centre, following a landslide in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters
People collect food items from a collection centre, following a landslide in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"While we have even a pinch of hope and faith we will continue even though exhaustion may be greater," he said.

President Guillermo Lasso visited the area on Monday night and offered to extend the rescue operation to find the missing.

People rest as they dig amid debris as they look for relatives, following a landslide, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters
People rest as they dig amid debris as they look for relatives, following a landslide, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

With fears that more landslides could be triggered, the government has ordered some 600 homes be evacuated, with three shelters set up to care for those affected.

Soldiers help people to recover their belongings after their homes were damaged in a landslide triggered by heavy rains, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters
Soldiers help people to recover their belongings after their homes were damaged in a landslide triggered by heavy rains, in Alausi, Ecuador March 28, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Ecuador's disaster agency had warned of potential landslide danger for a 247-hectare (610-acre) area in Alausi in February, which included part of the zone where Sunday's landslide hit.

Heavy rains destroyed roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Lasso last week declared an emergency in 14 provinces because of the weather and an earthquake on March 18.

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Latest news