Floods cause at least 16 deaths and affect 35,000 people in Venezuela | international

Floods cause at least 16 deaths and affect 35,000 people in Venezuela |  international
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, is pictured this month.PRESIDENCY VENEZUELA / Europa Press

The Heavy rain these days They have wreaked havoc in some areas of Venezuela, notably in the state of Mérida, in the Andean region of the country. There, at least 16 people died, with six missing from the floods. The governor of the region, Ramon Guevara, stated that two of the dead were children. Nicolas Maduro He decreed a national emergency due to the floods, which, according to civil protection, caused the destruction of more than 8,000 homes and affected 35,000 people.

The states of Zulia, Amazonas, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, the Amacuro Delta, Monagas and Tachira are also affected and are on yellow alert. Maduro himself reported that 85 of the country’s 335 municipalities were affected by the rain, which caused damage to 116 points on the road network and 10 bridges across the country.

The epicenter of the disaster in Mérida was the valley of the Mocotíes River, an agricultural region that once had tourist activity. The river overflowed and flooded the streets of the cities of Tovar and Santa Cruz de Mora, dragging giant boulders from the mountain, as well as household items overflowing with water. Access to these cities is blocked by landslides and there is no electricity, telephone or internet service.

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“I agree to all resources in bolivar, cryptocurrency and convertible currencies so that (the government) act with the greatest force in real time,” the Venezuelan president declared in a televised address. Maduro ordered the armed forces to come to the area to help rescue teams and care for the victims, and promised to remove the rubble as soon as possible.

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“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces have already received an order to activate all their strength to accompany and support communities that have seen their lives affected by the increasing rains,” Maduro added. Military personnel acted side by side with the “protector” of the state, –An unconstitutional figure appointed by the executive for elected opposition rulers, as in Merida-, Jheyson Guzmán, to oversee rescue work “in a civil-military union” with the newly appointed Minister of the Interior and Justice, Admiral Remigio Ceballos.

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The flood of the river surprised the residents of Tovar and Santa Cruz. Many people saved their lives at the last minute and lost all of their possessions. And videos spread on social networks and phones in which cars were seen floating in the flooded streets. Official sectors, state government, NGOs and civic activists have already organized collection centers for clothing, medicine and food to help victims.

Cardinal Baltasar Porras, Archbishop of Mérida (diocesan) of Mérida, asked through Twitter “a call to solidarity and prayer for the deceased and those affected by the landslide in the Mokotes region. The National Caritas and the Archdiocese have mobilized. God bless our people”.

Maduro promised, through the Minister of Housing and Habitat, Eldemaro Villarroel, to allocate homes for the victims and not leave them in shelters indefinitely, It has happened other times in the past in the face of similar disasters.

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