The cut of the service by a landslide happened in El Troje, on Wednesday, it originated the suspension of activities in the education sector and in the public function since yesterday. Around 600 thousand inhabitants of the south, south-east and center of Quito hope that the water returns in a gradual way to those zones as of the afternoon of today.
The mayor Mauricio Rodas announced yesterday, at a press conference, that the municipal technicians calculated that the problem was solved until said hours. The service has been interrupted since 11:00 on Wednesday due to a landslide that occurred on one of the walls of El Troje (southeast) dump at 23:30 on December 5.
The fall of 150 thousand cubic meters (m³) of material plugged 1.5 kilometers of the raw water pipeline of the Mica-Quito South system, according to calculations of the Municipality. The cleaning of the accumulated dirt and mud took 30 hours, according to information from the Cabildo. The morning of yesterday began the works of formwork of the stretch of the affected channel and at dawn the melting of the material.
Jaime Garzón, deputy manager of Potable Water, explained that the repair operations consisted of the smelting of the walls of the canal. From there you will wait for the material to be set to restore the service. In addition, terraces are being erected in the upper area of the canal to avoid another landslide. And a sewer that is located in the area was cleaned.
Garzón indicated that once the water service is restored, measures will be applied so that the fluid does not leave with mud residues. For this there are structures that are called spillways that allow the canal to be washed before sending the water to Puengasí. Meanwhile, investigations will begin to determine the reasons for the landslide through an interdisciplinary group.
After waiting for a prudential time to allow the concrete to harden, the circulation of the liquid that comes from the Cotopaxi would be allowed. Because of the situation, President Lenin Moreno decreed on Thursday the suspension of the activities of public institutions in the capital. The measure took effect from noon yesterday and will last until today.
The document states that the rest day of this Friday of public officials will recover with one hour of work every day from Monday, December 11. In the same way, the Ministry of Education determined the suspension of the activities in the educational establishments of Quito to avoid problems of healthiness with the minors. Meanwhile, the population affected by the court yesterday sought ways to provide themselves with the vital liquid and planned their activities to avoid that the fact affected them in excess.
That is the case of José Mosquera, owner of the Kedely ice cream factory, located in the sector of Los Dos Puentes (center-south). Mosquera has a cistern in which he stores water for cases like this. However, he calculated that the capacity of the tank would allow him to work during the day on Thursday and nothing more. That’s why I was waiting for news about the resumption of drinking water service to make a decision about their activities for today. If he did not have running fluid since early Friday, he analyzed giving rest to his employees and calling them to recover the day when necessary.
Meanwhile, sources from the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) reported that the four health care institutions that they own in the southern sector had no problems until yesterday regarding the supply of the resource. The recently inaugurated IESS Quito Sur Hospital and the dispensaries located in that area have cistern tanks with capacity for three days. Therefore, said the sources, if the service is restored as of today afternoon, as provided by the Cabildo, there would be no inconvenience
Although the municipality had the support of 68 tankers to provide the affected neighborhoods with liquid, the measure was insufficient. The residents of the area where the service was cut did not easily get the water. That was the unpleasant situation that Leonor Trujillo lived, neighbor of the sector of Quitumbe.
The woman said that she left at 07:00 and walked around waiting to find a tanker, without immediate success. But the need to comply with household chores forced her to get the liquid “no matter what”. She arrived at 09:00 until the pool of the bridge of Guajaló, along with her sons Sergio and Andrés. He took advantage of the fact that they had a day off at the disposal of the Ministry of Education and gave them a task: “They helped me to carry the water to the house.”
Each child brought two small buckets and she carried two large bottles. It was located next to a pool, located five blocks from his house, and helped with a jug with which he filled each container with eagerness. “They should have warned in advance that they would leave us without water,” she said.
Juan Carlos Viera, inhabitant of the Quitumbe Citadel, was also at the side of the pool. Your home is behind the Quicentro Sur shopping center. The man was worried because 10 people live in his house. In a taxi he moved four large bottles and two 10-liter buckets that were sealed with plastic and elastics to prevent their contents from spilling.
“We know that the water is dirty, but at least it will help us to use the bathrooms,” the citizen explained. The situation was not better in other areas either. Around 10:00, dozens of people settled in the outdoor pool of the Wholesale Market. Víctor Chugchilán Vega, resident of the Guajaló Bridge, arrived to the point carrying a tub. The man said that he could reserve water for cooking and drinking, but that he did not have enough for the use of the bathroom and a half he has in his house.
He tried to find a tanker to get water and moved to Santa Rosa, without good results. In contrast, in the sector of Solanda there were several points where the tankers were located. In the Community Police Unit (UPC) it was observed that a truck arrived around noon. The Municipal Police placed metal fences in José María Alemán street; the line was concentrated in Salvador Bravo street and it reached the next block, in Francisco Rueda.
Milton Silva, member of the Rescue Group of the Metropolitan Police, reported that until yesterday, Jorge Humberto Taboada was wanted, who disappeared in the zone of collapse. At a press conference held Thursday afternoon, Mayor Mauricio Rodas announced the finding on the site of the worker’s lifeless body. (I)