It has been raining for several hours in the state of Merida. The northern parts are characterized by oil fields, but to the south an untouched tropical nature. The green mountain slopes drop steeply into the Mocotíes River.
It also makes the area sensitive to storms. Stone, soil, and vegetation fell and blocked roads, at the same time the river rose and washed away people and buildings. This is what regional representative Jason Guzman told President Nicolas Maduro in a report broadcast live by state television company VTV.
60 houses disappeared, the river rose and buildings collapsed.
He adds that at least 400 families have “lost everything”.
The number of confirmed deaths has reached 16, while about twenty people have disappeared into the water bodies, Reuters reported.
Heavy rains also affected other parts of Venezuela, including Caracas. The capital is also mountainous, and is located 900 meters from the nearby Caribbean Sea, which means it is prone to natural disasters.
According to the media, the country’s Meteorological Institute warns that six rivers are at risk of flooding and three states have reached the highest alert level. These are Zulia – which is next to Mérida – and Bolivar and Guarico, south of Caracas.
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