QUITO – At least 14 people have died and more than 9,000 have been affected by the torrential rains that have doused several provinces in Ecuador since late January, authorities said.
They said that most of the people who have died have been killed in mudslides in the central provinces of Cotopaxi and Tungurahua.
A total of 9,187 people have been adversely affected in various ways by the rains, mainly in the coastal provinces of Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Rios and El Oro.
More than 200 houses have been damaged and 19 have been completely destroyed during the current rainy period.
The ongoing downpours, above all along the coast, have also sparked outbreaks of various diseases, including dengue, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and in Ecuador has infected about 2,000 people, according to Public Health Minister Caroline Chang.
In Guayas province, one of the provinces most severely affected by dengue, there have been 340 cases of the classic form of the disease and 15 of the more severe hemorrhagic type.
All the dengue sufferers, particularly the people who have contracted the sometimes fatal hemorrhagic variety, have been treated at hospitals and are in stable condition and out of mortal danger, health authorities say.
Chang emphasized that the government is pursuing its prevention plan to fight the disease and asked the public to take the proper measures to help prevent the spread of the mosquito, which reproduces in stagnant water.
The minister also said that the country’s public health centers have enough medicine to deal with the dengue outbreak. EFE