Torrential rains flood parts of Cuenca for second day, causing mudslides and downed powerlines

Jan 14, 2016

For the second consecutive day, a strong thunderstorm flooded parts of northeastern Cuenca Wednesday afternoon, leaving drivers stranded and inundating several dozen homes.

Mud covers north side streets. Photo: El Mercurio

Mud covers a Cuenca street. Photo: El Mercurio

As on Tuesday afternoon, the areas hit hardest were the industrial park, Ricaurte, Patamarca, Llacao, Milchichig, Quinta Chica. Rain also fell in Centro and areas east of the city.

The Machángara River overflowed its banks as it did on Tuesday, depositing as much as a foot of mud on nearby streets. Two city buses were stranded near the industrial park, forcing passengers to walk through deep mud to higher ground. In other areas, firemen and city utility workers were forced to clear debris from sewers to alleviate flooding.

According to firefighters, floodwaters in Ricaurte and Patamarca flood waters stood two feet deep in some homes, mostly due to backed up sewers. In Déleg, a landslide made several roadways impassable. They also reported downed power lines and uprooted trees due to high winds that preceded the storm.

The national weather agency says that the conditions that led to the Tuesday and Wednesday thunderstorms remain in place and that more storms are possible. Heavy showers are also affecting other areas of Ecuador, with Guayaquil and several coastal communities reporting unseasonable amounts of rainfall in recent days.

Meanwhile, the city utilities company ETAPA said this week’s rains did not lessen the need for water conservation since little rain has fallen in the Cajas Mountains, the watershed for Cuenca’s municipal water system.

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