Tuesday, June 18, 2024

At least 3 dead in another landslide in Venezuela | Environment News

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Locals shared videos of trees, big rocks and cars being dragged by current of mud and water in northern Venezuela.

At least three people have been killed in northern Venezuela after another landslide swept away vehicles, trees and huge boulders, destroying everything in its path.

The landslide in El Castano, a neighbourhood in the town of Maracay, about 80km (50 miles) west of the capital Caracas, was caused by intense rain and flooding and came about a week after more than 50 people died in a similar incident in a central Venezuelan town.

“I am informed that there are three dead in El Castano; it was a mudslide that came from the mountain,” President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday.

Locals shared videos of trees, big rocks and cars being dragged by the current of mud and water that left more than 50 houses damaged.

Responders worked through the night to clear mud and rocks from the road, with lights from vehicles illuminating the worksites as the area was left without electricity.

Jose Dos Santos, 56, said he took refuge with his family in the highest part of his house.

“I was looking towards the mountain, the rain was heavy. We heard a roar and then when I saw water coming in through the windows, I grabbed my folks and we climbed up,” he told the AFP news agency.

Fellow resident Nelida Rodriguez said the landslide “was horrible”.

“I’ve lived here for 70 years and have never seen this,” Rodriguez said.

Heavy rainfall also fuelled a massive mudslide that last week devastated Las Tejerias, a town in Venezuela’s central Aragua state.

Dozens of people were killed and many others were reported missing after the fast-moving mud and debris trapped many residents throughout the town.

“We have lost boys, girls,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said last week from a flooded street in Tejerias, where he said a month’s worth of rain had fallen in just eight hours.

Maduro said last week that the death toll in Tejerias could reach 100 people.

On Monday, the president blamed the climate crisis for the heavy rains that have caused destruction throughout the country in the last weeks.

“This is due to climate change,” Maduro said. “Rain falls above normal in a short time and makes mountains collapse … makes streams and rivers collapse.”

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