(Alausí) Rescuers are continuing their operations Tuesday in southwestern Ecuador to try to find victims the day after the landslide that left seven dead and 64 missing according to a latest report, AFP noted.
Accompanied by sniffer dogs, groups of rescuers and residents search the rubble in the hope of finding survivors after a huge mountain slab broke off overnight from Sunday to Monday in Alausi, Chimborazo province , some 300 km south of Quito.
According to the latest official report, the landslide left seven dead, 23 injured, 64 missing and 163 houses affected by the mudslide, which fell on a peripheral district clinging to the mountainside.
There is an “accumulation of tons and tons of earth” which “makes it difficult for the victims to survive,” Fernando Yanza, one of the firefighters working at the site, told AFP.
The accumulated earth “takes away the little bit of oxygen and that’s the main problem” faced by people trapped under the flow, Yanza said after emerging from a four-meter-deep excavation without finding any sign of life.
“The more you dig, the more dangerous it is” because the ground is unstable, he added.
Arriving there on Monday evening, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso was greeted with boos and shouts of hostility: “Out Lasso! “.
“I was able to see with my own eyes the search and rescue work carried out by the rescuers”, he commented on Twitter after meeting the local authorities, assuring that these operations would continue “as long as necessary”. .
In the disaster area, some 600 houses spared by the landslide were evacuated on the orders of the authorities.