QUITO – At least five people died and seven others were injured when a huge mudslide buried a portion of one of the main avenues around Ecuador’s capital, Ecuavisa television reported.
The incident occurred along a stretch of Simon Bolivar Avenue, in southern Quito, when some 2,000 cubic meters (70,500 cubic feet) of rain-soaked earth cascaded down off a hillside and covered the road.
A pickup truck and a cargo truck were buried and rescue teams recovered four bodies from the vehicles and that of another passerby who was walking along the street there at the time of the landslide.
Germanico Pinto, with the municipal Public Works department, said that the mudslide resulted from the water runoff from the neighborhoods that have been established on the higher parts of the hillsides near the road.
The heavy rains that fell in the Quito region over the past few days have caused landslides along that avenue before, but there had been no fatalities until this most recent incident.
Traffic along the affected route has been suspended until further notice. EFE