High tide and clogged drains were blamed for flooding in Guayaquil Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Cars and buses were stranded on some city streets where water measured a meter deep.
The Navy’s Oceanographic Institute (INOCAR) said that flooding from Tuesday night’s thundershower was intensified by a high tide which raised the level of the Guyas River, which flows through the city. The Institute said that a build-up of sediment in the river is also responsible for higher water levels.
In Chone, in Manabí Province, city streets were flooded and several mudslides covered streets and flowed into residential neighborhoods. The flooding and mud caused the city’s sewer system to collapse, prompting a drinking water warning from health officials.
The city said several houses were seriously damaged and that crops in outlying areas were destroyed.
To the north, flooding rains continue to damage homes and streets in Esmeraldas. Personnel from the national risk management office were in the city of Wednesday to assess damage.
Augusto Cazorla, director of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (Inamhi) called the rainfall in Guayaquil “torrential” and warns that there is more to come. “It was one of the most intense storms along the coast this month and it is an example of what we can expect as El Niño begins to have more affect.” He says he expect rains to become more frequent and more intense in the coming weeks.
Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nebot blamed some of the flooding on residents who deliberately clogged sewers. “We believe some of the sewers were deliberately closed, which is a criminal activity,” he said. He said he has asked the national police to investigate.
Earlier, however, the director of the city sanitation department blamed the clogged sewers on the trash and debris that had accumulated in the streets.