Heavy rain swamps parts of the city, stalling traffic and flooding homes and businesses; Guayaquil and Quito also see flooding

Jan 18, 2015

A strong thunderstorm paralyzed parts of central and southern Cuenca Saturday afternoon, flooding streets, cars and homes, and briefly filling the Rios Tomebamaba and Yanuncay to their banks.

Water is pumped from an Av. Las Americas store on Saturday.

Water is pumped from an Av. Las Americas store on Saturday.

Flooding caused minor damage at the both the University of Cuenca and University of Azuay, while a number of cars on Avs. Las Americas, 12 de Abril and Remigio Crespo stalled in high water.

The city’s meteorological office said the storm dropped an inch and half of rain at the airport but as much as three inches in other areas. It said that the storm was highly localized and parts of city to the north and west received only sprinkles. For some areas, in was the first measurable rainfall in three weeks.

Workers at several tram construction sites reported flooding in the track beds and said the water will prevent work on Sunday.

City police, who rescued several drivers from swamped cars on several streets, said the storm contributed to several traffic accidents, two of them involving injuries.

Police warned residents to stay away from rivers and flooded areas.

Guayaquil and Quito also experienced heavy rain on Saturday, both reporting flooded streets and neighborhoods. In Guayaquil, a bridge was damaged due to high water and trees were downed by strong winds that preceded the showers.

Photo credit: El Mercurio