Mudslides, Flooding Kill 27 In Ecuador

SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 1997

Flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rains have killed 27 people in Ecuador the past three weeks, police said Friday.

Heavy rains have pounded Ecuador, especially its Pacific coast, since the start of November, flooding coastal provinces and producing mudslides in parts of the Andes Mountains.

A mudslide Wednesday buried a house in the mountain village of Arrayan, 80 miles southwest of Quito, killing 10 members of a road crew who had taken shelter in the building.

Most of the other victims drowned in flooding along Ecuador’s Pacific coast, where flood waters have risen to three feet in some places.

An estimated 10,000 people have been left homeless or had their homes severely damaged by the rains.

Ecuador’s national weather service has warned of high waves off the Pacific coast and torrential rains and thunderstorms in the coming days.

The torrential rains are blamed on El Nino, a vast swath of warm water that settles off the coasts of Peru and Ecuador every two to seven years, altering weather patterns around the world.

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