Heavy rains to continue in the sierra and coast

Mar 23, 2019

Intense rain and dense fog are expected to continue in the inter-Andean valley through early next week, according to the National Institute of Meteorology (Inamhi). There will be a gradual improvement over the next week to 10 days, the institute says.

Flooding crashes a car into a house in Quito on Friday.

The rains, which have triggered landslides and flooding, will also continue in the coastal region, which has suffered some of its worst flooding in years.

On Friday, rains caused flooding in Quito, disrupting traffic on several major roads and forcing some resident to evacuate their homes. In one neighborhood, El Pinar Alto, north of the city, a wall of water and mud, destroyed 10 cars. To the west, part of the highway between Quito and Santo Domingo collapsed, forcing rerouting of traffic to and from the coast.

Inamhi blames the rains on high-altitude air flow from Colombia to Ecuador’s Amazon region, calling the condition “stubborn and persistent.” Of special concern for authorities was a blanket of thick fog in parts of Pichincha, Chimborazo and Canar provinces, which is reducing visibility on highways to 50 meters in some cases. Transit police are blaming at least a dozen accident on the fog.

South of Cuenca, a landslide on the Cuenca-Machala highway continued to cause driving delays near Giron. On Friday, road workers were able to keep one lane of the highway open as debris continued to cascade down the adjacent mountains.

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