Landslide kills at least 16 in Ecuador's Andes

A view shows the site of a landslide in Alausi, Ecuador March 27, 2023. REUTERS/Karen Toro

ALAUSI, Ecuador (Reuters) - At least 16 people were killed when a landslide triggered by heavy rains hit Ecuador's Andean region, the country's risk agency said on Monday.

A large amount of earth swept down on parts of the city of Alausi on Sunday night, affecting some 500 people and 163 houses, the agency said. Sixteen people were injured and seven more are missing.

"We have had to witness a terrible tragedy," Transport Minister Dario Herrera told Reuters in Alausi. "The first thing is to attend to and evacuate people from the houses."

Heavy rains have destroyed roads, bridges, and other infrastructure across Ecuador. President Guillermo Lasso earlier this month declared a state of emergency in the 14 provinces worst affected by the severe weather and a strong earthquake.

(Reporting by Tito Correa in Alausi and Alexandra Valencia in Quito; Writing by Valentine Hilaire, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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