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At least 22 dead from landslides in the capital of Ecuador

  A huge landslide triggered by the heaviest rainfall in Ecuador for almost 20 years has killed at least 22 people in the capital Quito, off...

 

A huge landslide triggered by the heaviest rainfall in Ecuador for almost 20 years has killed at least 22 people in the capital Quito, officials say.



Mud and rocks were carried down the slopes of the nearby Pichincha volcano. A recreation ground and eight houses were engulfed, and cars swept away.
At least 47 people were injured, and 20 are missing after Monday's landslide.


Weather experts said the amount of rain that hit the mountain was almost 40 times more than had been forecast. The storm that triggered the landslide dropped the equivalent of 75 liters per square meter (equal to 75 mm or nearly 3 inches of rain) marking the largest amount of rainfall the capital has seen in almost two decades, according to the mayor.
Guarderas said a similar volume of rainfall had last been recorded in the capital in 2003.
In a typical year, Quito averages about 82 mm (3.2 inches) in January and 111 mm (4.3 inches) in February. By those averages, three-quarters of the city's monthly total fell in this single downpour.



"I saw how the current took a man and a child. It was horrible," local resident Belén Bermeo told Ecuador's El Universo newspaper.

"We saw this immense black river that was dragging along everything, we had to climb the walls to escape," said resident Alba Cotacachi, who evacuated her two young daughters from their home. "We are looking for the disappeared."


Rescue crews are searching homes and streets covered by mud, as officials say 16 people are still missing.



 
 
With information from: cnn.com, reuters.com, bbc.com

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