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International News: 36 killed, 56 missing after a landslide caused by flooding hits central Venezuela

Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2022. 8:58 am CST.

Photo: MIGUEL ZAMBRANO/AFP via Getty Images

By Aaron Humes: At least 36 people have been killed with up to 56 missing after rain caused several creeks to swell, leading to a landslide hitting the town of Las Tejerias, Santos Michelena, Aragua, Venezuela on Saturday, 54 miles southwest of Caracas, according to Latin Post.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez spoke to state-owned Venezolana de Television and revealed that five streams overflowed in Central Venezuela. A large landslide then happened and hurled debris into Las Tejerias. She also confirmed that the search and rescue teams managed to recover 20 bodies on Sunday, but many more are “walled in” and the hope is to rescue them alive.

The Venezuelan Ministry of Communications stated that at least 1,300 families have been affected by the landslide. They also revealed that 317 homes have been destroyed and 757 homes were affected. Meanwhile, Vice President Rodriguez also added that approximately 10,000 families across the state are now experiencing water outages.

CNN reported that on Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the interior ministry and security agencies into what he calls “Maximum Deployment” to deal with the landslide.

The most affected by the landslides were those living higher on the mountainside, as their homes were swept away. Homes and businesses were also destroyed as the landslides swept through Aragua. One of those swept away was an entire group of Evangelicals. According to Las Tejerias resident Carmen Teresa Chirinos, the group was praying when the landslides hit.

One woman told Reuters news agency she lost her husband and granddaughter after going to seek help. When she was able to return home later on Saturday, she found him missing and her granddaughter, not yet two, drowned on the sofa.

“I haven’t been able to sleep,” she said. “I can’t close my eyes because that’s what I see. I see my granddaughter, where I put her. I left her there and I couldn’t get her out.”

 

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