Mar. 24 - Heavy rains in Ecuador trigger floods that killed 20 people and forced thousands from homes. Michaela Cabrera reports.
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Twenty people have been killed in floods in Ecuador, as heavy rains pounded the country.
More than 4,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, as flood waters rose.
An elderly woman had to be carried out of her home on a stretcher. Rescuers took her and her husband on a boat to safer ground.
Flood evacuees were temporarily housed in schools and government shelters in the town of Calceta.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FLOOD VICTIM, PASCUAL MURILLO, WHO HAS BEEN STAYING IN THE SHELTER FOR TWO DAYS SO FAR, SAYING:
"I don't know how long [I'll be in the shelter]. Because they say the river is going to rise again today. My house is completely destroyed. It's gone."
Relief workers were scrambling to distribute food, water and other supplies in shelters across the country.
Many said they lost everything in the floods.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORKER, MARGARITA MOREIRA, SAYING:
"Others were able to grab a few things from their homes, but the majority don't have anything."
Earlier this week, La Esperanza Dam was overwhelmed by heavy rains and the reservoir spilled over and flooded nearby towns.
The Ecuador government has declared a state of emergency in six provinces.
Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.
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