Landslides Kill At Least 24 As Rains Deluge Ecuador Capital


(AP) — A rain-weakened hillside collapsed in Ecuador’s capital, sweeping over homes and a sports field and killing at least 24 people, city officials said Tuesday.

The Quito Security Department said at least 48 more people were injured, while eight houses collapsed and others were damaged when the hillside gave way late Monday. The authorities also reported 12 missing people.

Neighbours joined rescue workers in hunting through the ruins for survivors of the disaster that hit following nearly 24 hours of rainfall.

Waves of mud, some 3 meters (10-feet) high, carried vehicles, motorcycles, trash bins and other debris under a heavy rain in the neighbourhoods of La Gasca and La Comuna below the slopes of the Ruco Pinchincha mountain.

As the rescue began, police called for silence so cries of those trapped could be heard.

Quito Mayor Santiago Guarderas said the intense rains saturated the soils, setting off the landslide.

Smaller waves of muddy water continued pouring down the ravine Tuesday past weary neighbours trying to move stones, tree trunks and debris. An overturned taxi and other vehicles were partly buried in mud on a sports field.