Guayaquil is experiencing one of the heaviest rainy periods in recent years. More than 30 sectors of the city woke up yesterday flooded by a powerful storm which coincided with a period of high tide.

The National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology stated that the amount of rain accumulated in the last 24 hours in Guayaquil was 199.5 mm (l/m²), which is considered heavy rain.

The mayor of Guayaquil, Cynthia Viteri, indicated that there were also landslides, at least three structural collapses and 37 streets and avenues with water accumulation. Among the most affected areas were the citadel of Urdesa, av. Juan Tanca Marengo, via Daula and Sauces. A situation which, along with the announced public transport strike, caused chaos in the city.

Viteri added that what happened is an important, big and strong event that can be repeated until Saturday. According to Inocar, until that day the city will support peaks of water levels that will reach up to 5.11 meters high. This plus the rains exceed the openings of the city.

Given the current scenario, which according to the municipality of Guayaquil is linked to “climate change that causes the water level to rise”, the outgoing authorities and those who will take command in May must think about the future of Guayaquil, a city whose life has always been linked to the river.

There is an urgent need to analyze what solutions might exist so that they are not always dependent on the level of the tide, a problem that other cities around the world have managed to mitigate with technology and engineering. The first is the necessary removal of sediment from the Guayas River and its two tributaries (the Daule and Babahoyo Rivers), a task that has not yet been solved and would help not only Guayaquil, but also the neighboring cantons. In parallel, there are complementary works that must be immediate and that have been discussed at the technical level, but are not even within the contractual period.

Natural events cannot be avoided, but their effects can be prevented. (OR)