Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ecuadoran floods to last until April

GENEVA, March 4, 2008 (AFP) - Flooding that has devastated half of Ecuador will likely continue until April, the United Nations disaster relief office said Tuesday, citing the country's national weather institute.
"Roughly 13,500 people are currently housed in temporary shelters while another 100,000 victims need immediate aid in terms of food, shelter and access to potable water," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the Geneva-based Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Thirteen of Ecuador's 22 provinces are currently under water from flooding that has caused 19 deaths to date and affected up to 300,000 people, OCHA said.
The UN agency has earmarked 50,000 dollars (33,000 euros) in emergency aid and rescue operations in the South American country.
The European Union has also offered 1.5 million euros in assistance while Spain has furnished two potable water purification units.