15 dead, six missing and dozens of houses razed: Venezuela decrees a state of emergency in Mérida due to heavy rains

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The Government of Venezuela decreed a state of emergency in the Andean state of Mérida due to the effects caused by heavy rainfall in 85 municipalities in the country, which have left at least 15 people dead and six missing.

In the South American country, according to Maduro, it has fallen 65% more rain than in previous winter periods. In addition, there are 38 tropical waves of the 75 planned until mid-September. In his opinion, climate change is partially responsible for the increase in the volume of rainfall.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reported Tuesday night from the Miraflores Palace, headquarters of the Executive, that the affected entities are: Amazonas and Bolívar (south); Apure and Barinas (southwest); Delta Amacuro (east); Monagas (northeast); the Capital District and Aragua (north-central) and Mérida, Táchira and Zulia (west).

Thousands of people affected

So far, 35,646 people have been affected and 8,098 homes have been damaged. In addition, 166 roads and 10 bridges have breakdowns caused by rains and floods.

“We are going to support the last family that has lost their home, their belongings, their vehicles. The people must feel embraced, accompanied, protected by the State, “he said.

The president asked the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) “to activate all its power to accompany and support the communities that have seen their lives affected by the increasing rains.”

In the same way, he called on the communities to work together with Civil Protection organizations, regional and local authorities and the security forces.

Merida, the hardest hit

The state of Mérida, which is located in the north of the Andes Mountains, has been one of the most affected by the rains. The presence of mountains and abundant streams of water has generated landslides, large rocks and mudslides.

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So far, Civil Protection has reported 15 deaths and six missing in the Andean state. A total of 60 houses were washed away by the river and another 60 were left uninhabitable.

In 11 municipalities of that entity in the west of the country, 804 homes were damaged and 400 families lost their belongings.

The Mocotíes Valley area, a mountainous subregion with a significant presence of rivers that is located in the west of the Merida capital, is the most affected.

The rising of the Mocotíes river affected the Tovar electrical substation, which feeds five municipalities in this subregion, which was 70% bricked up.

A technical team coordinated by the Sectorial Vice Presidency of Public Works and Services is carrying out the repairs. It is expected to recover 90% of the electrical load in the next few hours.

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