Ecuador’s risk management secretariat, Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos (SGR) has issued a detailed report on the damages and impacts on public health, physical infrastructures and production caused by the flooding and landslides after torrential rainfall in late January 2016.
The worst hit provinces are Guayas, Bolívar, Esmeraldas, Cotopaxi, Los Ríos, Manabí, Imbabura, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas and El Oro.
According to the Instituto Nacional Meteorologia e Hidrologia (INAMHI) rainfall reached daily values higher than 100 mm during these intense events, with 120 mm recorded at Parque Metropolitano of Guayaquil the 19 January and 244.5 mm recorded in Esmeraldas between the 24 and 25 January.
The image below shows the accumulated rainfall totals between 01 January and 25 January. Pedro Vicente Maldonado in Pichincha Province recorded 803.7 mm during that time.
The orange area on the map (signifying 430 mm to 645 mm of rain) covers parts of the provinces of Pichincha, Esmeraldas, Manabí, Cotopaxi, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas and Los Ríos.
Several rivers overflowed and major towns, including Chone, Esmeraldas and Guayaquil suffered flooding and related damages. According to the Instituto Oceanográfico de la Armada (Inocar) the situation in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest and most populous city with, was worsened by the combination of heavy rain and high tide of the Guayas River.
SGR report that there were a total of 3,864 people affected by the consequences of heavy rain, with 9 causalities and 2,628 people evacuated and hosted in secure places.
As many as 2,812 of those affected were in Esmeraldas province. Many were also affected in the provinces of Manabí (418), Los Ríos (296) and Guayas (148).
A total of 9 casualties were reported, with the highest number (5) in the Province of Cotopaxi, where flooding was not as severe as elsewhere but heavy rain affected the stability of slopes, causing a landslide that hit 5 workers in Canton Sigchos on 25 January 2016.
Two other causalities were reported in Esmeraldas Province, where the event was most severe, and two in Guayas Province, where there is the highest number of population at risk.
At least 36 houses have been totally destroyed by flooding or landslides, and many more have been damaged. The total number of buildings and homes affected reached 1,186, including 45 schools.
The majority of houses affected were in the provinces of Manabí (604) and Esmeraldas (474). At least 14 houses were destroyed in Esmeraldas due to overflow and landslide. In Guayas Province 31 houses were affected. However, 10 houses were destroyed in the province in the Floor de Bastion neighbourhood in Guayaquil, as reported by SGR via Twitter.
Several national roads in Esmeraldas, Bolívar, El Oro y Loja Provinces were affected by landslides and subsidence problems caused by the intense rain, causing interruption and difficulties in rescue operations. According to SGR news, repairs of communication routes are taking place with the help of local and national authorities.
Agriculture and livestock were also significantly impacted, with loss that affected mainly small producers in the Provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, Galapagos and Los Ríos.
Esmeraldas was worst hit, with around 40% of the cultivated area damaged and a loss in production equal to US $949,400 . The overall loss in agriculture production in Ecuador as a result of the January floods is reported to be equal to US $1.4 million.
Livestock farming was also hit. Farmers in Esmeraldas lost as many as 6,400 poultry and 634 larger livestock. Losses to livestock farming has been estimated at US $108,020 in Esmeraldas and US $3,820 for Manabí Province.