As the coronavirus pandemic continued to escalate around the world, a more localized emergency has unfolded in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
After a day and a night of extreme rainfall at its headwaters, the Bobonaza River, which passes through a mosaic of indigenous towns and villages near Ecuador’s border with Peru, was rising at a rate local communities had never seen before, Gizmodo reported.
Many did not even have time to collect up their things before the waters had inundated their houses. Communities quickly sent out word that a flood had hit them. In a sign of what could come elsewhere in a world experiencing the dual crises of a pandemic and climate change, government support has been slow.
According to Gizmodo, several other communities have been affected by the floods, which also occurred along two other nearby rivers. But with the Ecuadorian government focusing on the coronavirus pandemic, the reaction to the flooding has been slow.
The country has seen a rapid increase in covid-19 cases over the past few weeks. The total reached more than 1,800 reported cases by Saturday, the most of any Latin American country outside of Brazil and Chile. Of the reported cases, the country has also recorded 48 deaths from the virus.