Ecuador: Floods - Operations Update No. 1, DREF operation n° MDREC018


Summary of most relevant adjustments to the Emergency Plan of Action:

This Operation Update includes a three-month extension (new end date 31 August 2022) to adjust the plan of action to better respond to humanitarian needs of the population affected by floods due to the intensification of rains in 21 provinces of the coastal zone and mountains of the country at the end of March and beginning of April 2022.

Through this Operations Update, it is intended to inform about:

  • A geographical extension to provide support to families affected by the rains in Guayas, Los Rios, and El Oro.

  • A timeframe extension of an additional 3 months, for a total of 6 months, to finalize the proposed humanitarian assistance.

  • A budget increase that includes a second allocation of CHF 203,620, increasing the total DREF budget to CHF 478,475. Thanks to the second allocation, an additional 800 families will be targeted. Two major adjustments made to the Emergency Plan of Action include:

  • The amount of PTM delivered to the initial 500 families was reduced from $270 to $260 USD due to technical issues with the ATMs in the localities, where withdrawing money with 10-dollar bills can be complex as there is a possibility that the ATM run out of bills with that denomination and the withdrawal could be blocked.

  • A request was made to acquire the tarpaulins and mosquito nets through the IFRC. In the case of tarpaulins, only normal black plastic is available locally. Although there is one local supplier that offers what is required, the cost is more than $100 USD per unit and it is delivered in 45 days.


Description of the disaster

As referred to in the action plan initially approved, from the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMHI), the possibility of intensification of rains in different areas of the country was reported, which between the last half of March and the beginning of April was significantly evidenced in at least 21 provinces. With this context and according to Report No. 0602 for National Rainy Season as of 7 April 2022, seven provincial EOCs and 32 cantonal EOCs have been activated. Similarly, there are 13 emergency declarations at the cantonal level (Balao,
Quinsaloma, La Maná, Quilanga, Espíndola, Catamayo, Chila, Santa Elena, Camilo Enrique Ponce, Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno, Caluma, Loja, Zaruma), and 16 emergency declarations at the parish level.

In the 21 provinces of Ecuador detailed in the chart above, several hydrometeorological events have occurred during 2022 such as floods and hailstorms, causing structural collapses, landslides, among other events. These events have produced, at the national level, a total of 40 people killed, 86 people injured, 26,663 people affected, 6,203 homes affected, 150 homes destroyed, 48,234 meters of roads affected, 16 bridges affected, 12 bridges destroyed, 4,853 Ha of crops affected, 345 Ha of crops destroyed, 100 public goods affected, 84 public goods destroyed, among other consequences.

Throughout late March and early April, new overflows of two rivers were reported in the provinces of Esmeraldas (Quinindé) and Guayas (Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno), while four rivers continue with a tendency to increase their flow level, in the provinces of Esmeraldas (Quinindé), Manabí (Flavio Alfaro) and Los Ríos (Ventanas and Urdaneta), generating potential effects in the surrounding towns.

Damages have been reported by hydrometeorological events to main and secondary roads. More specifically, 8 main roads, 9 secondary roads and 31 others less important roads nationwide have been completely closed, mainly in the coastal provinces, Amazon and south of the country. In addition, the report No 060 states that the threat of rain and electrical storms continues in the country, mainly on the coast with a higher level of probability of high rainfall in Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos and Guayas, north-central inter-Andean alley (Cotopaxi) and in the Amazon region (Napo, Pastaza, Sucumbíos and Orellana).

In the province of Guayas, the hygiene and family cleaning kits were distributed to 25 families as planned during the month of January and February. However, because the impact of the rains has significantly increased between the end of March and the beginning of April, the Provincial Board has submitted a request for support, for the care of an additional 800 families in the province due to loss of their livelihoods and belongings or housing.

According to official data, the cantons of Balao and Salitre in the Guayas Province have declared an emergency through the Cantonal Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and public and private institutions have collaborated with the respective humanitarian assistance. In the cantons Jujan, Simón Bolívar, Balzar, Santa Lucia, Daule, Yaguachi, Palestina, Marcelino Maridueña, Colimes, it has been reported that dozens of families have been affected.

Despite the effects of the floods, there were families who did not want to be evacuated, 96% for fear that their belongings would be stolen, which is why they remained in their homes, while only 4% agreed to relocate to safer places: 3% in foster families and 1% in shelters. Regarding vector diseases, it is influenced by the distribution and density of the different species of vectors, especially the arboviruses transmitted by the Aedes aegypti, albopictus (Dengue, Zika CHikungunya, Mayaro), parasitosis transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes (Malaria), sandflies (Leishmania) and triatomine bedbugs (Chagas disease). The data recorded by the Ministry of Public Health until Week 10 (5 April 2022) states that the province of Guayas has the largest number of dengue cases with a total of 664 cases reported this year with the age group of highest incidences being the 20-49 years old.

In March, in the province of Los Ríos, rainfall in the mountain range generated various floods especially in the Babahoyo canton, where the rains reached an average of 133mm, which caused damage to homes, belongings, and livelihoods of the population, either due to the loss of their own crops or in the farms where they worked. So far, more than 2,640 hectares have been affected and 297 with total loss in the crops of rice, bananas, hard corn, grass, cocoa, and passion fruit, of around 320 producers. In this area, relief teams identified the need to support families in their reactivation through the delivery of food, hygiene, and cleaning kits, while working on the aid plan through the government, which will be responsible for helping the recovery of crops with microcredits.

The main effects have been reported in the cantons of Urdaneta, Babahoyo, Montalvo, Baba, Mocache and Palenque. The SNGRE reported structural collapses, landslides, and gales, among others, in the province. These have affected 4,654 families (16,212 people) in 2022. Additionally, 4,004 homes have also been affected and 2 have been destroyed. As for cultivation areas, 2,640 hectares have been affected, while 103 hectares have been destroyed. The impact on the road network has impacted 3,935 meters of primary, secondary, and other less important roads.

In the province of El Oro, the main effects occurred in the cantons of El Guabo, Machala, Pasaje and Piñas. The SNGRE reported 230 affected families (874 people) in 2022. Additionally, 204 homes were affected and 3 were destroyed. As for cultivation areas, 4 hectares were affected, while 39 hectares were destroyed. The impact on the road network stressed out that there were damages in 1,913 meters of different roads.

Although the main consequences were not as high in terms of quantity of affected families (230 families) as other affected areas, in the province of El Oro there was a need for support to the system because the emergency response system at the municipal level has been attending other emergencies in the mining area, which limited its ability to expand their support to areas of minor affectation. Therefore, the Ecuadorian Red Cross, in coordination with the SNGRE and the local Cantonal Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GAD), identified the need to support the emergency system through the delivery of humanitarian assistance related to food, hygiene, and cleaning, to affected families and that have not been attended by any other institutions due to lack of resources.