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Ecuador: Yellow Alert for Possible Development of El Niño Phenomenon

11.1.2019

Landslides have occurred on some roads in the agricultural area of Naranjal in the province of El Guayas due to the overflow of rivers. The alerts were recorded in the early hours of Thursday, January 10th, 2019. As a preventive measure for the start of the rainy season in the Litoral, the National Risk and Emergency Management Service (SNGRE) declared a yellow level alert for the possible occurrence of an El Niño event.

The resolution was signed by the general director of the service, Alexandra Ocles, on December 21st, 2018. The alert was activated in the coastal provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, Santa Elena, El Oro and the insular region.

The SNGRE clarified that it is a precautionary measure. "This does not mean that the event will happen, it is an articulation mechanism for the preparation of the response," the entity said in a statement.

The measure is based on the climate perspectives, according to the NOAA agency of the United States, which predicts in its last bulletin of January 10th a 65% chance of occurrence of an El Niño event this year, due to the warming of the Central Pacific. Its intensity would be between moderate and weak.

For Ecuador, the probability models forecast rainfall on the nor-mal values in the Litoral during the first quarter of 2019. The National Committee for the Regional Study of the El Niño Phenomenon (Erfen) is continuing to monitor the situation and announced that for January, normal conditions are expected for the ocean facing the coast. The SNGRE also man-ages the Rainy Season Report 2012-2018.

According to this report, Manabí is the province most prone to floods in the country, followed by Guayas (23.30%), Esmeraldas (13.85%) and Los Ríos (12.19%). The re-port was delivered to municipalities and prefectures, for the application of preventive plans in the most vulnerable territories.

Since October 2018, the SNGRE has maintained a monitoring of adverse events caused by the rains. On the Coast, the heaviest rains began at the end of December.

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