Ecuador – Fatalities After Flooding in 5 Provinces

Disaster authorities in Ecuador report that at least 6 people have died in recent flooding after a spate of severe weather in recent days. Eleven people have now died as a result of flooding and landslides in the country since the start of the year.

Flood damage in Pallatanga Canton in Chimborazo province, Ecuador, February 2023. Photo: SNGR

The Risk Management Secretariat (Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos or SNGR) reported 35 incidents of flooding and over 20 landslides across the country from 18 to 21 February 2023.

Four people lost their lives after floods swept through areas of Pallatanga Canton in Chimborazo province. SNGR said the floods damaged houses, roads and vehicles. Teams from the Ministry of Public Works have been deployed to assist with clean-up operations and clear roads of debris.

Two fatalities were also reported after floods in the San Lorenzo canton in Esmeraldas province. The victims were swept away by the overflowing Lita River, SNGR said.

During this period severe flooding was also reported in Santa Elena, near the city of Guayaquil which has seen several incidents of flooding since there start of the year. Flooding was also reported in the city of Imbabura, the capital of Ibarra Province; and in Chone Canton in the Manabí Province.

Authorities declared a Yellow Alert in response to landslide threat in areas of Alausí canton in the province of Chimborazo.

The country’s met agency Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI) warned of further intense rains and storms in Guayas, Santa Elena, EL Oro and Pastaza over the coming days.

Heavy rains have affected the country since mid-January including in the capital, Quito, where streets and homes were flooded on 14 January 2023.

On 13 February 2023, SNGR provided an update regarding heavy rains in the country. In a period from 01 January to 13 February, SNGR recorded 171 incidents in 68 cantons of the country due to heavy rains. The most affected provinces are Pichincha, Guayas, Carchi, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Zamora Chinchipe, Napo and Los Ríos. Overall, 161 homes have been affected and 5 deaths reported (1 Napo, 3 Carchi, 1 Pichincha).

Floods in Imbabura, Ecuador, February 2023. Photo: SNGR