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Dozens Killed As Homes Were Swept Away In The Venezuela Landslides



36 people have now been confirmed dead, while 56 more remain missing after landslides destroyed their homes in the Venezuelan community of Las Tejeras.

The number of emergency workers participating in search and rescue efforts is over 1,000.

Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez said, “We’re attempting to save everyone we can and are extending our condolences to all those who have lost a loved one.”

Three days of national mourning have been proclaimed by President Nicolás Maduro.

According to local reports, two children were among those slain. Prior reports put the death toll at 25, but interior and justice minister Remigio Ceballos informed reporters that the toll had now reached 36.

Torrential rainfall caused the river El Pato to burst its banks. The resulting floodwaters swept away, trees, cars, houses and shops in the town, some 50km south-west of the capital, Caracas.

On the walls of the houses, thick mud showed how high the floodwaters had risen.

The town’s energy supply has been cut off, leaving it in the dark, reports Efe news agency.

To look for survivors, locals dug by hand through the thick mud. Sniffer dogs and specialized search squads joined them.

According to Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos, Hurricane Julia, which passed to the north of Venezuela, was to blame for the landslides.

As much rain fell on one day as is often seen in a month, according to a record, he said.

One man told AFP that he had spent the last 40 minutes hanging onto an antenna while his home and others were being swept away. The 65-year-old stated, “The river caught me and I had no choice but to climb a roof and hold onto an antenna.

Having spent her entire life in the community, Carmen Meléndez said: “The community is lost. Losing Las Tejeras.”


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