Quito Ecuador breaks historical records for rainfall in March, 2017

Posted on April 7, 2017 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency, Weather/Climate

elcomercio.com/Mayra Pacheco Editor The March rains will be part of the District’s historical records. The amount of rainwater accumulated in that month significantly exceeded the figures collected from 1987 to the current year. In Imaquito (north), Izobamba (south), and La Tola (Tumbaco) stations, last month’s rainfall hit historic figures, said Gonzalo Ontaneda, climatologist at the National Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (Inamhi). “These are the most intense rains that have been recorded in the capital, to date.” These adverse weather conditions were evident in the city . In March, water accumulations, mudslides, structural collapses, tree falls were recurrent. In March alone, 369 of these events occurred, out of the 573 registered since October 2016 so far, according to the Emergency Operations Center of Quito ( COE ). This reality forced the Metropolitan Security Secretariat to incorporate 70 people. They are responsible for attending immediately the events caused by the rains. In total there are 1 870 officials , including firefighters , metropolitan police, Emergency Operations Center personnel, risk management, etc. These personnel worked in extended days, without rest , to deal with floods (69 cases), landslides (194), structural collapses (71) and tree falls (35). “March was terrible … It’s the most complicated month in the last three decades,” said Juan Zapata , metropolitan security secretary. The Inamhi also corroborated that March was atypical . The intensity and continuity of the rains do not compare with those of previous years. The previous month, it rained almost every day. This present moisture affected the soil and certain structures. Before, about two decades ago, precipitation caused landslides and small landslides . The situation was not as widespread as it is now, Ontaneda said. “This is evidence of climate change .” The increase in the number of landslides in front of the floods in March also showed that it was an unusual winter, said Mayor Mauricio Rodas yesterday . In Quito it was the other way around. The saturation of water in the soil generated structural collapses and mass movements. Despite the conditions presented, the operational and technical capacity of the Municipality of Quito was not overwhelmed. But it was resolved to declare the emergency in the District to incorporate more first responder teams and immediate care brigades. In order to deal with emergencies, apart from the staff, there are 1 430 logistic elements, eight shelters and 1 060 tents . This has made it possible to respond in a timely manner to emergencies. All these teams and staff will be on guard to deal with the possible effects of what remains of the present rainy season , which began in October and will run until mid-May. Sunny days The good climatic conditions registered in these days does not imply that the winter is over, I need Mónica Valdivieso, technique of the Inamhi . The clear skies and high temperatures at noon , experienced lately, are temporary, due to the entrance of masses of dry air of the Caribbean. However, gray clouds and rain are expected to surface again this morning at night. In context During the present rainy season there have been 4.7 times more emergencies compared to the same period last year. In order to serve the people affected, the Municipality of Quito has invested around USD 50 000 to date.

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