UPDATED 1:26 PM PT – Monday, October 10, 2022
Search and rescue operations are underway in central Venezuela amid deadly flooding.
At least 25 people have died and dozens are still missing after the historically heavy rains from Hurricane Julia. The rains caused multiple rivers to overflow southwest of the country’s capital over the weekend.
Reports say that the downpour has swept large trees and debris into small towns which in turn has destroyed several homes, businesses, farmlands and other properties.
Venezuela’s Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, said that the governments priority is to locate people who are possibly trapped in mudslides and to continue searching the river banks for survivors.
“There was a great landslide in the central part of Tijeras, known as the baseball sector,” she said. “Five streams overflowed their banks, and we see significant damage here, human losses.”
More than 1,000 service members are helping with rescue efforts. Residents are using picks, shovels and any other tools they can find to dig through the thick mud bank.
In light of the events, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has declared three days of national mourning for the victims.