Severe damage has been reported in all of Ecuador’s coastal provinces due to heavy wave action and high tides. The worst damage has been reported in Manabi, Santa Elena and El Oro Provinces. The coast has experienced a series of large storms since early January.
More than two dozen houses and fishing shacks were destroyed in Manabi Province, with Crucita, Los Ranchos and the Manta areas reporting the most structural damage. In El Oro Province, at least 11 houses have been destroyed on two barrier islands.
Fishermen say that a number of boats have been destroyed or damaged.
Authorities report that servere beach erosion in several areas poses a long-term problem. They say hundreds of houses and buildings could be destroyed in future storms.
The Ecuadorian coast is especially prone to beach erosion and the environmental agencies that monitor the situation say that new building set-backs are required to minimize future damage. Authorities say that more than 1,000 structures have been destroyed since the late 1980s due to storm damage and erosion, 400 of them in Crucita, Montañita and Salinas.