Ecuador – Hundreds of Homes Damaged, Communities Isolated After Floods in Cotopaxi

Flooding has caused severe damage in areas of Cotopaxi Province in Ecuador. Thousands of people are isolated after bridges were destroyed by overflowing rivers. Flooding has also caused damage to homes in Azuay Province, prompting families to evacuate.

Flood damage in La Maná canton in Cotopaxi, Ecuador March 2022. Photo; Government of Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi Province

Local media report as many as 8 bridges have been damaged or destroyed due to flooding in La Maná canton in Cotopaxi province. An estimated 15,000 inhabitants of Guayacán, Malqui, Guasaganda, Pucayacu, La Playita and Choaló are isolated as a result.

Flooding also caused widespread damage to homes in Pucayacu, one of the worst affected areas. Local authorities said the overflowing Quindigua River destroyed the Pucayacu bridge, but also damaged around 180 homes close to the river. Many of the families have moved to safer locations, although reports suggested some families are reluctant to evacuate. Damage along the riverbanks has left some of the house precariously close to the river and likely to collapse. Flooding has also damage water infrastructure, leaving many residents without drinking water supply.

Jorge Guaman Coronel, Provincial Prefect of Cotopaxi, visited some of the affected areas in La Maná canton on 08 March 2022. Heavy machinery has been deployed to repair damage to roads and bridges.

This is the second time the Quindigua River has broken its banks this year. Heavy rain from 30 January caused the Pilaló and Quindigua rivers to overflow, flooding areas of Pujilí and La Maná cantons, where military teams helped evacuate homes. Work had started on dredging the river prior to the recent floods on 07 March.

Azuay Province

Ecuador’s disaster management agency SNGRE reported heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides in areas of Girón canton in Azuay Province from 07 March.

Long stretches of road were washed away. 1 house was completely destroyed, 2 damaged and several at risk. Around 30 people have evacuated.

A period of heavy rain affected areas of the country from 04 to 06 March, in particular in the provinces most affected are El Oro, Loja and Pichincha. SNGRE reported over 40 landslides and 10 incidents of flooding. Over 30 homes were damaged, affecting over 50 residents.

Flood damage in Girón, Azuay, Ecuador March 2022. Photo: SNGRE