Weather taking heavy toll around country; six die in Loja house collapse while lightning strike injures 52 at Quito police training academy
Six people, four children and two adults, were killed Thursday night when a house, undermined by flooding, collapsed in Loja. Several other homes in the area were destroyed or damaged by flood waters, emergency service officers say. Authorities say that several rivers in Loja Province are above flood level, including the Malacatos and Vilcabamba Rivers.
In Quito, a lightning strike injured 52 people at a training school for traffic police, with 15 briefly hospitalized, officials said on Friday.
“The candidates were in formation to enter the dining hall when they were struck by shock waves from lighting that hit the premises,” the Metropolitan Transit Agency said in a statement.
Thirty-seven were treated at the scene of the incident late Thursday and 15 were taken to hospitals for treatment, it said, adding that they have since been discharged.
Forty miles to the southwest, rescue workers continued to clear landslide rubble from a highway connecting the Andes with the coast. Five car divers and passengers have been killed by landslides in the area, while four more are missing.
Four drownings have been reported in Santa Eleana Province, police say, the result of strong off-shore storms.
The Ecuador meteorological service says that heavy rain continues to fall throughout the country, causing flooding and landslides. More rain is forecast.
Since March 19, 19 deaths have been blamed on the stormy weather.