The house began to shake like an earthquake when it rained heavily outside with an unusual and deafening roar. Suddenly water and stones began to enter through the doors and windows of the first floor and he was only able to run towards the terrace, Imelda Pacheco said in front of her house in the capital on Tuesday. EcuadorKitto.
After nearly 24 hours of heavy rain, floodwaters from the forests on the slopes of Ruko Picincha to urban settlements in the central-western part of Quito destroyed everything in its path: people, vehicles, motorcycles. , Anything standing in the way of the streets of La Comuna and La Casca neighborhoods. Authorities have confirmed at least 23 deaths.
“I didn’t have time to hold my four-year-old son by the hand and I ran up the stairs. Suddenly the walls on the front and one side disappeared. We yelled at a neighbor on the first floor, but the water took the mother and daughter away, ”Pacheco told the Associated Press.
“We kept shouting at the neighbors of nearby houses, but we did not hear any noise or rain of mud,” said the woman in front of her house, which was first affected by the floods. All her possessions ..
The street had turned into a turbulent river, he promised, hearing waves of more than two meters and screams of despair. “I thought we were going to die with my son, I hugged him tightly, we thought we were shivering, cold and scared. We were saved by the right people, ”the woman burst into tears.
Defense Secretariat of the Capital Municipality The avalanche on Monday afternoon killed 23 people, injured 47 – two were in critical condition, 23 were missing and eight collapsed houses have not yet been quantified for material damage..
Municipal officials and private companies collect and distribute supplies and clothing to victims in the area, where animal organizations search for and rescue pets amid mud and debris.
The mayor of Quito, Santiago Carteros, explained that this was due to the excessive concentration of the soil in the El Tejado Valley, which “triggered from the slopes to the riverbank and overflowed alluvial sediments across the reservoir”.
More than 12 hours after the disaster, small waves of muddy water followed from the stream as neighbors removed stones, trees and debris amid exhaustion and pain.
Carlos Bermejo, 32, one of the rescuers, was trying to clear the apartment, which was occupied by at least a meter of debris, and told the AP, “We have come to cooperate with the people affected by the disaster last night.
In a playground where many people were dragged away, a taxi turned upside down and three vehicles were destroyed and half buried in the mud.
Laura Quiñónez, 65, repeatedly said to the side of the ambulance, “I lost everything, I have nothing, it’s all over,” while neighbors removed stained or damaged household items and equipment.
Firefighters, military personnel and personnel from other companies are involved in the rescue and cleanup operations.
Nearly 800 police, army and metropolitan agencies provided assistance in the area as low-lying new flows continued to fall from the avalanche-prone valley.
Relief work began overnight so that uniformed officers could remain silent to hear the cries of people trapped in the collapsed houses.
When rescue operations were carried out, dark clouds threatened to trigger new rains in the north of the capital.
A similar incident has taken place in the same area over the last 50 years.
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