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QUITO: The heaviest flooding to hit Ecuador in two decades claimed 28 lives in the capital Quito this week and left 52 people injured, the city's mayor said Sunday.

The floods inundated homes, carried off cars and swept away volleyball players and spectators on a sports field.

Rescuers are still searching for a missing 38-year-old woman who lived in the popular La Comuna neighborhood.

Rain that drenched Quito for 17 straight hours caused flooding and surges of mud that damaged roads, agricultural areas, clinics, schools, a police station and an electric power substation.

"The total number of dead is 28, 52 people were injured, seven of whom were hospitalized," Quito mayor Santiago Guarderas told a press conference.

Earlier in the week, Guarderas said Monday's rains overwhelmed a hillside water catchment structure that had a capacity of 4,500 cubic meters but was inundated with more than four times that volume.

Guarderas said Monday's downpour brought down 75 liters per square meter (1.8 gallons per square foot) following 3.5 liters on Saturday.

This is "a record figure, which we have not had since 2003," he added.

Three days of mourning were observed in Quito, a city of some 2.7 million people.

Heavy rains have hit 22 of Ecuador's 24 provinces since October, claiming at least 44 lives.

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