At least 16 people were killed and another 16 were injured after a massive landslide buried numerous homes in central Ecuador's Alausi canton, in Chimborazo province, the Secretariat of Risk Management has said.
According to the agency's preliminary report, seven people are still missing and as many as 500 people have been impacted by the disaster that hit the town on Sunday night, with countless homes destroyed, 65 per cent of a major roadway made impassable and 25 per cent of streetlights not working, Xinhua news agency reported.
"One hundred per cent of the transportation service for communities and cities is affected," the secretariat said. The country's ECU 911 integrated emergency hotline and service issued an alarm Sunday night that immediately dispatched search and rescue teams to the rural area.
"Temporary accommodation and the mobilisation of sleeping kits have been activated for those who have lost their homes," the presidency's communications secretariat said in a statement.
By presidential order, the Risk Management Secretariat was coordinating relief efforts with the Armed Forces and the Public Health Ministry, as well as local police and fire departments, the statement said.