At least 15 people died in western Venezuela because of torrential rains that caused floods, landslides, and cuts in electricity and communications, authorities said Tuesday.
In a televised speech, President Nicolas Maduro said that more than 35,000 people were “directly affected by these rains” in 11 states, and more than 8,000 homes were “destroyed”.
On his part, Interior Minister Remijo Ceballos reported that the thunderstorm season has arrived in Venezuela this year a little premature and that rain is expected to continue.
In the worst-affected state of Merida (west), State Governor Ramon Guevara said that “the Mocotes River overflowed and entered the main streets of Tovar.”
The Governor explained that rainwater and floods also caused landslides in the area, which isolated it from the outside world, depriving it of electricity and telephone.
“The situation is tragic, sad, and hopeless,” said journalist Jesus Quintero from Merida. “It is not easy to lose everything, but it is worse to lose loved ones.”
“The tragedy of 2005 is repeating itself,” he added, referring to the heavy rains that fell on Merida that year, with 41 people killed and 52 others gone missing.
Heavy rain fell on other parts of Venezuela, including the capital, Caracas.
It is worth noting that the National Meteorological Institute issued a warning of the danger of river flooding in at least six states.