Posted by: calloftheandes | April 19, 2011

Ministry Facilities Flooded in Quito Cloudburst

Photo by María Isabel Valarezo of El Comercio

Heavy rain mixed with hail flooded streets, homes and ministry buildings in the immediate neighborhood around Radio Station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, on Saturday, April 16.

No deaths or injuries were reported in a leading Quito daily, El Comercio, which published photographs of police transporting in inflatable rafts passengers from one of two trolley cars. The public transport vehicles, as well as cars, stalled in in three to four feet of water in a viaduct just blocks from the radio station.

Traffic was halted on major thoroughfares through Quito, including Avenida 10 de Agosto, which connects to the Pan-American Highway, as flooding caused major congestion throughout the city’s northern sector.

A major street near the radio station, Avenida Brasil, was blocked after the collapse of wall bordering a parking lot at the Teleamazonas television station. The water’s force crashed through a gate, propelling broken sections of wall and large rocks into the street. Municipal employees worked into the evening to remove rubble and several inches of mud from Avenida Brasil, where traffic was still restricted to one lane the following morning.

Strewn rubble on Avenida Brasil near Teleamazonas (in background). Photo by H. Rosiak

Rains also flooded the basement of a nearby partner ministry Vozandes Media, including a recording studio still under construction. Damages were minimal, according to Horst Rosiak, who directs the ministry and lives in the same building. The ministry’s programming was unaffected, with broadcasts on shortwave continuing from a transmitter atop Mount Pichincha above Quito. With staff in Ecuador, the ministry works under the auspices of the HCJB Global-Germany World Office.

Vacuuming water from a rain-saturated carpet at Vozandes Media

Municipal officials said the rain and hail filled two canyons, Chimichaba and Caicedo, on the slopes of Mount Pichincha, just west of Quito. El Comercio reported that mud, branches and rocks were swept to Avenida Brasil, the adjacent street, Avenida América, and beyond. Sewer lines collapsed in the city’s north and damage to electrical transformers prompted power outages.

When rains penetrated large window frames on the second floor of Hospital Vozandes-Quito (HVQ), nurses evacuated patients to other rooms, and the clean-up began. HVQ Director Jim Estes reported no major problems in the basement where maintenance staff pumped from water storage tanks to avoid overflows.

Clean-up of Avenida Brasil. Photo by H. Rosiak

Next door at Alliance Academy International (AAI), water covered the playground, then flowed into a large first floor atrium area and classrooms. In an AAI basement apartment nearby, Helen Cobb was caring for her two young grandsons during a visit from the U.S. Water came up through the floor drains during the downpour that occurred while Stephen Meier, her son-in-law who is the AAI high school principal, was picking up his wife and the Meiers’ newborn from a Quito hospital where the baby had received care for respiratory illness. Their apartment had also flooded just weeks earlier.

Christina Meier with Jared and Luke. The boys and their grandmother evacuated this basement apartment on Saturday, April 16.


  1. […] to God and ask Him into your heart,” says the blind guest in front of a microphone in the studios of Vozandes Media, one of Reach Beyond’s partner ministries, in Quito, Ecuador. “Ask Him to fill you with light […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: