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Rescuers find more victims after a landslide in Ecuador, rising the death toll to 8

A resident, kneeling, reacts after landslides damaged his house in El Placer, Ecuador, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa) A resident, kneeling, reacts after landslides damaged his house in El Placer, Ecuador, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
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RIO VERDE, Ecuador -

Rescue teams and some inhabitants searched the mud Monday looking for more victims of a landslide in central Ecuador that killed at least eight people.

Heavy rains over the weekend drenched several provinces of Ecuador, but the community of Baños was one of the most affected when a hill partially collapsed Sunday and swept over some houses and vehicles.

Ecuador's Risk Management office said in a press release that besides the eight confirmed deaths, 11 others were missing and 22 more were injured.

Baños, which is about 135 kilometres (84 miles) south of the capital, Quito, is known among tourists as a jumping-off point for adventures in the Amazon jungle.

“Pain, sadness, resignation for the family,” one resident, Edgar Paredes, said in describing the loss of his son in the landslide.

Search teams and some inhabitants removed debris by hand, though heavy machinery was also put to use.

The initial death toll Sunday was six, but authorities reported Monday two more bodies had been removed.

As the searchers worked in the mud, some residents sought to recover furniture from damaged houses.

Across Ecuador, storms caused other landslides and flooding in at least 13 provinces, destroying some bridges and highways, severing the main road connecting Ecuador’s highlands to its Amazonian provinces.

Two other people died in two different provinces because of the rains, the Risk Management officed said.

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