Emergency officials in Ecuador say at least 16 people died and 16 others were injured after a massive landslide

Iran PressAmerica: A massive landslide swept over an Andean community in central Ecuador, burying dozens of homes and killing at least 16 people as rescuers frantically searched for survivors, authorities said Monday.

In a statement on Monday, Ecuador’s Risk Management Secretariat (SNGR) said at least 16 people were killed and about 500 others were affected by a wave of mud and debris that swept through the small community of Alausi on Sunday night.

Ecuador’s Risk Management Secretariat said 16 people were injured and seven remained missing hours after the landslide Sunday in Alausí, about 137 miles (220 kilometers) south of the capital, Quito. The agency estimated that 500 people and 163 homes were affected by the disaster, which also destroyed a portion of the Pan-American Highway.

The governor of Chimborazo, Ivan Vinueza, told The Associated Press that some of the injured were taken to area hospitals. Authorities initially issued an evacuation order due to the imminent risk of new landslides, but they lifted it a few hours later.

Area residents told local media they heard tremors on the mountain before the landslide, which is estimated to be about 150 meters (490 feet) wide and 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) long. It dragged trees, homes and other buildings. 219