Heavy rains have caused more than a dozen major landslides in the Sierra, the largest obstructing traffic south of Quito and in the tourist town of Baños.
Closer to Cuenca, highway E35 was closed for several hours near Cumbe with another slide stopping traffic near Giron. Cuenca-bound traffic was diverted around the Giron slide via the old Tarqui highway.
Meteorologists say that as much as three inches of rain fell in some areas of the mountains Saturday and Sunday. Most of Ecuador’s Sierra has been in drought conditions since late fall and rain is badly needed. “The problem is that we can’t control the rain when it finally comes,” said Rafael Heredia, spokesman for the Quito airport weather station. “We need two or three more rains like this weekend’s to catch up”