Due to heavy rainfall that passed through the state of Merida in western Venezuela, rivers broke their banks and mudslides on Wednesday. As a result, at least 20 people died.
Merida State Governor Ramon Guevara said more than 1,200 homes have been destroyed. At least 20 people have died, and rescuers search the ruins for another 17 missing residents. Photos shared on social media show streets flooded with water and mud, ruined buildings and mudslides sweeping cars and fragments of houses.
Several cities in the affected area, including Tovar, Bailadores, Zea and Santa Cruz de Mora, have no electricity because the flood damaged transformers, Guevara said. Neither state nor municipal authorities, he added, have the resources to help the affected areas. President Nicolas Maduro said the government has provided fuel for rescue operations.
Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos said Wednesday on state television that at least 54,543 people in 87 municipalities had suffered from damaged roads and bridges. A state of emergency was ordered in these areas.
Governor Guevara has instructed officials to set up a humanitarian aid station in the center of Merida, where victims receive water, food, clothing and blankets.
Main photo source: Reuters