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Ecuador prepares contingency plan in view of El Niño effect

Quito, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) The National Electoral Council (CNE) in Ecuador is preparing a contingency plan to face possible effects of the El Niño phenomenon in the development of early elections.

CNE counselor, José Cabrera, showed concern for the coastal provinces and explained that there are facilities there that are required for the elections, however they are being repowered after the recent floods, especially in Esmeraldas and Guayas.

According to Cabrera, in Esmeraldas, eight precincts were affected by the intense rainfall registered in this territory in June. However, he said, they are already rehabilitated and will be able to operate next August 20.

The official highlighted that other premises in Guayas, Los Ríos and Bolívar will be inspected in the next days and in case of damages caused by the weather, the CNE will consider the use of other facilities on an emergency basis.

According to CNE figures, there are 4,380 centers ready for elections to be held next August 20.

In these elections, more than 13 million Ecuadorians will elect the president and vice-president of the South American nation, the 137 assembly members and will also have to respond to a popular consultation on oil extraction in the Yasuní area, in the Amazon.

Experts from the Escuela Politécnica del Litoral (Espol) recently confirmed that El Niño would arrive in Ecuador between November and December, although the highest rainfall peaks would be between February and March 2024, according to specialists.

The Secretariat of Risk Management estimates that 2.3 million people in 17 provinces will be affected by the presence of the meteorological event, mainly due to floods or landslides in El Oro, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí and Esmeraldas.