Venezuela: at least 15 dead after heavy rains and floods

Venezuela: At least 15 dead after heavy rains and floods


Venezuelan authorities announced on Saturday the death of two more people after torrential rains fell in recent weeks in the country, bringing the total death toll to at least fifteen.  

“Two deaths and one disappearance have been reported,” said Carlos Perez Ampueda, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection, on Twitter. 

The previous official report, which dated October 1, reported thirteen dead and three missing. 

The bad weather caused a flood in Las Tejerias, in the state of Aragua, about fifty kilometers from the capital Caracas, carrying away large quantities of sediments, debris and uprooted trees, detailed the official. 

“Search and rescue operations are underway. There is currently no electricity. The authorities are assessing the damage and the needs”, added Mr. Perez Ampueda. 

Of the fifteen confirmed victims, ten were swept away by a flood on September 23 while participating in a retreat in the state of Tachira (west), near the Colombian border. 

Flooding was also reported on Saturday in the town of Cabimas, in the western state of Zulia, where at least fifty houses were damaged by water, Mr. Perez Ampueda said. 

Since the beginning of the year, Venezuela has recorded rainfall above historical averages, attributed to the La Niña weather phenomenon. The cold equivalent of El Niño causes a cooling of part of the surface waters of the Pacific, influencing the cycle of precipitation and the climate of certain regions of the globe. 

According to the UN, La Niña, notably responsible for the aggravation of the drought in the Horn of Africa, should have an unprecedented duration for this century and persist at least until the end of the year. 

< p>It would be in the 21st century the first episode of La Niña extending over three consecutive winters in the northern hemisphere (or three consecutive summers in the southern hemisphere), according to the Info-Niño/Niña bulletin published by the 'World Meteorological Organization (WMO).