Ecuador – 1 Dead After Floods and Landslides – 14cm of Rain in 24 Hours in Esmeraldas


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Parts of Ecuador have been hit by torrential rainfall, floods and landslides for the second time in a week.

Heavy rain between 19 and 20 January 2016 caused flooding in the Manabí and Guayas provinces. The cities of Chone and Portoviejo were some of the worst affected in Manabí. Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, damaged several houses and caused chaos on the city’s roads.

Further heavy rain between 24 and 25 January has once again left parts of Manabí and Guayas provinces underwater. At least 20 homes have been damaged in Portoviejo, Manabí. In Guayaquil, the heavy rain caused surface flooding on roads and problems for traffic.

Esmeraldas

This time around, the province of Esmeraldas has been worst affected. Local media report that 1 person has died in a landslide in Canton San Lorenzo and that several rivers, including the Esmeraldas, Teone, Súa, Santiago, Ónzole and Mataje, have overflowed, forcing 140 families to evacuate their homes, most of them from the towns of Playa de Oro, Maldonado and Timbiré.

Military assist with evacuations in Esmeraldas. Photo: Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador
Military assist with evacuations in Esmeraldas. Photo: Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador
Floods in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas
Floods in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas
Landslide in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas
Landslide in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas
Landslide in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas
Landslide in Esmeraldas. Photo: Municipio Esmeraldas

Los Rios and Santo Domingo

Other affected provinces include Los Rios, where the Quevedo river has overflowed. Several small landslides were reported in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas . The provinces of Cotopaxi, Imbabura, Santa Elena and Quito have also been affected by the heavy rain.

Rainfall Totals

Ecuador’s meteorological agency and disaster authorities say that the heavy rain is a result of El Niño. Further frequent, intense rainfall is expected in February and March.

Figures below are from WMO for a 24 hour period between 24 and 25 January 2016

Guayaquil Aeropuerto – 72.8 mm
Puerto Ila – 112 mm
Santo Domingo De Los Coladoros Aeropuerto – 116 mm
Pichilingue – 117 mm
Manta – 80 mm
Portoviejo – 70 mm
Esmeraldas Aeropuerto (Tachina) – 141 mm
La Concordia – 97 mm

El Niño

The country has been preparing for the effects of a strong El Niño since July last year, complete with dedicated website and map of potential flood zones.

Areas of Ecuador likely to be affected by heavy rain and floods from El Nino. Image: SEG
Areas of Ecuador likely to be affected by heavy rain and floods from El Nino. Image: SGR
Areas of Ecuador likely to be affected by heavy rain and floods from El Nino. Image: SEG
Areas of Ecuador likely to be affected by heavy rain and floods from El Nino. Image: SGR

The risk management secretariat (Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos del Ecuador: SGR) have set up contingency plans in 122 cantons across 10 provinces. Over 220 shelters have been set up to accommodate families displaced by severe weather. SRG has also carried our risk management training to over 15,000 people, and created 246 community risk management groups to help expedite help for local communities.

In November 2015, president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, declared a state of emergency for the anticipated effects of El Niño. This was renewed on 17 January 2016 for a further 30 days at least.

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