At least 20 people have died and 17 are missing following heavy rains in western Venezuela, local authorities said on Wednesday (August 25th).
Three municipalities in the state of Merida (west) were the hardest hit. The death toll “Today increased to 20” against 15 the day before, said local official Jehyson Guzmán.
More than 54,000 people have been affected in the country, Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos said on state television on Wednesday. The day before, Mr. Ceballos, had warned that the stormy rainy season was in full swing in Venezuela and that it should continue to rain “For the next ten days”.
Nine states in emergency situations, 8,000 homes destroyed
The Mocoties River overflowed its bed and entered the main streets of the city of Tovar. The area is deprived of electricity and telephone while access is blocked by water.
Nine States – Merida, Tachira, Zulia, Apure, Monagas, Delta Amacuro, Amazonas, Bolivar and Aragua – are in a situation of“Emergency”, said Ceballos. “I give the green light to all logistical and financial operations in favor of these States”, said President Nicolas Maduro.
Heavy rains have destroyed more than 8,000 homes in 11 of the country’s 23 states, according to the president who linked the torrential rains to ” climate change “. Precipitation is also affecting the capital Caracas.