Funds provided for emergency highway repairs; Soldiers help with post-quake clean-up; Floods, volcanoes and earthquakes are a triple whammy

Mar 21, 2023 | 4 comments

Lunes, 20/3/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Nulti atrae con aventura y vivencias (Nulti attracts with adventure and experiences) – The Nulti parish GAD is promoting experiences and adventure tourism in conjunction with the communities and businesses in the sector, and with the youth who are trained as tour guides. Tourists can climb down into grietas (cracks – your word for the day), narrow, steep, rock walled canyons formed by water, go to the Apangoras creek (or ravine or gorge), see the Tuluncocha Lake, walk around El Plateado, and visit different artesans. El Plateado hill is at 2,722 meters above sea level, and takes it’s name from the color of the soil which is a bluish gray and turns silver under a full moon. <Be careful around your guide – he grows fangs, gets really hairy, and howls under that same moon.>

Building inspections are underway throughout Cuenca to check for damage from Saturday’s earthquake. (El Mercurio)

Fossils of animals from the tertiary period and petrified molluscas and trees have been found in the area. To make a reservation for tours, contact the GAD de Nulti on Facebook: GadprNulti, Nulti Tourismo-Gadpr Nulti <or if I’ve mangled that address> you can call 098 433 8234 <And mangle some Spanish.>. 20 people are required for a tour of the grietas. The $20/person includes round trip transportation from Cuenca, food, the tour and use of climbing equipment.

Titular –

Emergencia para las vías de Azuay (Emergency for Azuay roads) – After Pres. Lasso´s emergency declaration following the temblor (earthquake – another word for the day) on sábado, the first roads that will be worked on are the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme and Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje that connect Azuay with Guayas and El Oro, the provinces with the two main sea ports. There were serious problems on those two routes including sinkholes, cracks, fissures, undercuts, and instability on the slopes.

Along the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme, the quake triggered 13 slides with the largest at km. 97 where 1,700 cubic meters of earth covered the whole road. The vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje was left covered in rocks and dirt especially between Santa Isabel and the dam for the Minas-San Francisco hydroelectric plant. This was in addition to the blockage at km. 112 in the Gramalote sector on 2/3. Lasso offered $100 million as part of the Plan Vial 2021-2025 for this and other work to be done in 27 months.

There will be a $12 million budget for 28 critical points on the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje and $12 million for the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme. $8 million will be for the vía Sígsig-Chiguinda-Gualaquiza; Paute-Guarumales-Méndez will get $8 million; and Gualaceo-Limón will get $10 million for the Gualaceo-Plan de Milagro section. The emergency declaration will allow a rapid contracting process instead of the normal process which can take 207 days. <I’m thinking it’ll also make under the table deals easier. Worth it if it gets Azuay connected to the rest of the country by road again? I hope whoever is doing the master planning doesn’t allow the airport closure at the same time as the road work.>

The U. of Cuenca suspended classes for the entire university from 7-13:00 today. The churches in Baños and Sinincay were closed until they can be inspected in detail. Soldiers from two different groups helped clean up debris and salvage household goods in Baños and the Centro Histórico. The Prefectura de Azuay collected donations of water, non-perishable food, hygiene kits, clothes, pet food, and more today.

Region –

Hidroeléctrica en mantenimiento (Hydroelectric plant undergoing maintenance) – The Minas-San Francisco plant located between the provinces of Azuay and El Oro will be receiving maintenance until el 11/4. This has been done once a year for the last 4 years in a way that assures the supply of energy. The water from the Jobones y San Francisco rivers brings sediment which accumulates in the reservoir. The earthquake increased the amount of sediment.

Nacional –

Los planes preventivos desbordados (Preventive plans overwhelmed) – The weather, sismos (another word for earthquake), and volcanoes have uncovered the lack of planning in cities. 7 cantons have declared winter emergencies. <And we don’t even have to cope with subzero temperatures or snow!> A report from the Milagro fire department is alarming. 60% of the urban and peripheral zones are flooded with 1,000 properties under water, and the Municipio hasn’t finished sending the information to the Secretaría de Gestión de Reisgos yet. The Mayor’s office had a mitigation plan which was overwhelmed by the torrential rains.

The 2021 plan warned about the lack of a sewer system that could discharge winter rain water efficiently, and now people are literally swimming to get around. <I’m wondering if the that sewer system is for storm water only, or if it’s an old combined sanitary/storm system, in which case people are swimming in s**t?> Cristian Rivera, a risk expert, said that as a country, we don’t work on prevention. The winter put many cities to the test, and the problems were the same as those in past years. Up to ayer, the Secretaría de Gestión de Reisgos said 20 people had died this year due to the winter, more than 14,000 were affected, and 5,917 hectares of crops were affected.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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