Mudslide in Ecuador Mudslide in Ecuador  (AFP or licensors)

Ecuador mudslides cause more havoc

Hopes are fading for those trapped by a mudslide in Ecuador, with seven dead and more than sixty people still missing.

By James Blears

Rescue teams working around the clock have already pulled thirty people out of the cloying mud and are still sifting and digging.

The mudslide from the hillside looming above the town of Alausi happened on Sunday, after months of torrential rain.

Perhaps coincidentally, it happened just days after an earthquake on the Southern coast which killed seven people.

Locals had been warning authorities for some time about the potential of a landslide because of the saturated earth, which was becoming ever more dangerous and unstable.

Those who witnessed the disaster said there was a whoshing sound, followed by a terrible silence. 

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso has reached the affected area and is promising that everything that can be done will be done, saying: "You are not alone. We are with you."

An investigation which is already underway will determine why repeated warnings fell on deaf ears, as local roads were closed after huge fault line cracks appeared in them. 

Listen to James Blears' report:

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31 March 2023, 16:58