On Tuesday, Ecuador’s General Secretariat for Risks (SGR) informed that the death toll from the mass avalanche that hit Alausi city on Sunday increased from 7 to 12.
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Locals and rescuers found four new bodies from the large mass of land scattered, and a young man rescued on Monday died in a hospital in the Cañar province.
Caused by heavy rains, the landslide damaged about 2.32 kilometers of roads and 25 percent of the local public lighting network. In addition, it partially destroyed 163 homes, forcing about 30 families to move to temporary shelters.
Inhabitants have already rescued 32 people after this disaster, which injured 31 citizens and disappeared 67 others. Relatives of the disappeared people dig with spades through the dirt in the places where they think are their loved ones.
"We have been searching since Monday without much help. We cannot leave our relatives here on the earth. We no longer have hope that they are alive. They have been in there for over two days," Sandra Caranqui said in tears..
In February, the SGR warned of a potential landslide danger for a 2,4 square kilometers area in Alausi city. Such a zone included part of the sites where the landslide hit on Sunday.
"Let us keep the hope and faith that we will find some of your relatives alive. If not, everything will be done to recover the bodies and deliver them to their families," said President Guillermo Lasso, who is likely to be impeached for accusations of corruption over dealings in public companies.