QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- Landslides caused by six days of nearly nonstop
have killed 15 people, wrecked homes and forced the evacuation of dozens of
residents in this Andean capital, authorities said Monday.
"We have a total of 15 people dead as a direct result of rain and landslides,
to 25 people injured to varying degrees and nearly 30 homes completely
destroyed," Red Cross representative Rody Camino told The Associated Press.
The rains, coming near the end of the region's September-May rainy season,
started Wednesday and continued nearly nonstop through the weekend, causing
about 150 landslides and prompting the evacuation of some 180 people.
"We have had rain before, but not like this, with landslides inside the
Quito Mayor Alfonso Lasso.
Lasso said 200 city workers with bulldozers, tractors and other heavy machinery
were working to shore up hillsides and dig out neighborhoods.
Ecuador's Meteorological Institute said precipitation in the first half
of the month
had already reached 5.5 inches and was at a pace to set a record. Average
rainfall for April over the last 15 years has never exceeded 6 inches.
With more rain forecast for coming days, eight city districts were considered
"high risk" of being hit by avalanches, Camino said.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.