BAt least seven people have died in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in the Andes region of Ecuador. Another 23 people were injured, the country’s civil protection agency said in an updated report on Twitter on Monday. Previously there had been talk of 16 deaths.
“We have witnessed a terrible tragedy,” Transport Minister Dario Herrera told Reuters in the affected city of Alausi. “The first thing we have to do is take care of the people and evacuate them from their homes.”
Large mudslides fell on parts of Alausi on Sunday night. Rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors. In some areas, most houses were completely buried underground, a witness told Reuters. 32 people have been rescued so far, another 50 are still missing.
Heavy rains have destroyed roads, bridges and other infrastructure across Ecuador. Earlier this month, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency in the 14 provinces hardest hit by the storm and a powerful earthquake.