Ecuador floods and mudslides force thousands from their homes this year, government says


A man transports a girl and her bike in a canoe through the floodwater on the outskirts of Salitre, 600 km southwest of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, on April 15, 2010.



Ecuador's government said floods and mudslides have forced about 4,700 people from their homes and caused 10 deaths so far this year, reported The Washington Post. Heavy rains are the culprits that set off mudslides in some areas and caused rivers to overflow.

Since January, at least 10 people have died and 14 have been injured during heavy rains, the government emergency management office said on Sunday, according to the Huffington Post. Christian Taco, an agency official, said more than 4,700 people have had to evacuate their homes this year, and of those, 2,800 are being housed in disaster shelters while other are staying with relatives.

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According to The Washington Post, Government Water Secretary Walter Soliz said a mudslide in western Manabi province forced more than 100 people to evacuate a nearby neighborhood on Saturday.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa made a tour of Manabi and another coastal province, Los Rios, just last week, to verify the magnitude of losses caused by the heavy rains, reported Prensa Latina. Correa traveled to Guayaquil and then moved on to shelters in Babahoyo, Los Rios, to personally take a look at the conditions under which affected families were living. He then flew over flooded sectors in the cantons (municipalities) of Catarama, Juan Montalvo and Vinces, among others.