25 Dead, 50 Missing In Major Landslide In Venezuela: Report


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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At least 25 people were killed and more than 50 are missing after landslides swept through a community in Venezuela, Saturday, according to a report from the BBC.

Roughly 1,000 emergency responders, joined by sniffer dogs and specialized search teams, are attempting to locate those missing in the town of Las Tejerias in Venezuela after torrential rains caused the El Pato river to burst its banks, resulting in a massive landslide and flood, according to the BBC. The waters dragged away cars, homes, businesses, trees and people as it moved through the town.

Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos claimed the landslide occurred as a result of Hurricane Julia, which brought a typical month’s worth of rain to the South American nation in a single day, the BBC noted. Eleven out of Venezuela’s 23 states experienced flooding in the early days of October, with upwards of 20,000 officials, including rescue workers and security forces, deployed to the flooded regions, according to NPR.

Videos of the devastation circulated widely on Twitter, showing mudflows nearly reaching the tops of door frames in some places.

One 65-year-old local man survived the natural disaster in Las Tejerias by hanging onto an antenna for 40 minutes as his home was swept away, the BBC continued. “The river caught me and I couldn’t find anything to do besides climb a roof and grab on to an antenna,” he said, according to the outlet. (RELATED: WalletHub Reveals Which States Are Most Affected By Natural Disasters)

Another local, Carmen Melendez, said “the village is lost. Las Tejerias is lost,” the outlet reported. Many people’s homes located higher up the mountainside got washed away, including the homes of group of Evangelicals who were praying at the time of the landslide, NPR noted. In other places, individuals and families are walled into their residences, and some businesses have been destroyed as a result of the landslide.