Ecuador: at Least 8 Killed in Heavy Rains, Landslide

Ecuador: at Least 8 Killed in Heavy Rains, Landslide
Above: A landslide caused by heavy rains on Feb. 1, 2022 in Quito, Ecuador. Image copyright: Agencia Press South/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • The central Ecuadorian city of Banos on Sunday declared a state of emergency after at least six people were killed in landslides caused by days of torrential rain.

  • On Monday, two more bodies were recovered, adding to Sunday's six deaths. Landslides and flooding in 13 Ecuadorian provinces destroyed bridges, highways, and access between the highlands and Amazonia.

The Spin

Narrative A

This type of rainfall, and the damage it can cause, should not come as a surprise, considering scientists have been issuing warnings about this for many years. Climate change and El Niño are the primary catalysts for heat intensification, resulting in sea warming and a subsequent increase in land precipitation. These changes will likely contribute to a higher occurrence of natural disasters, so nations and local authorities must take measures to prepare for them and battle climate change.

Narrative B

Climate change may exacerbate the situation, but Ecuador's location along the Andean mountain range — prone to frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes — renders it susceptible to landslides, and it's especially vulnerable to flooding and landslides due to unplanned rapid urbanization. To ensure that city expansions are safe, the government must take control of city planning.

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