Venezuela – State of Emergency After Floods in Apure, 40,000 Affected

Floods in the state of Apure in Venezuela prompted President Nicolas Maduro to declare a state of emergency on Friday 03 July 2015.

The floods came after 2 weeks of heavy rain. At their peak, the floods affected over 40,000 people. The Arauca and Sarare rivers overflowed, flooding hundreds of houses, banks, schools and businesses. The worst hit area is the town of Guasdualito and the surrounding areas of Paez municipality, where as many as 9,000 families have been affected.

Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN), the state news agency, reported that a total of 4.5 tons of medicines, 3,000 liters of water and 3.5 tons of food was delivered to flood-hit residents in Guasdualito on Saturday 04 July 2015.

In his statement, President Nicolas Maduro said the flooding is the worst seen in Apure for over 20 years. Disaster was averted after prompt evacuations were carried out. Authorities assessed the flood damage in the affected areas late last week. A state of emergency was then declared to enable the release of government funds of $47 million U.S. dollars for relief duties, emergency rescue teams and initial recovery of the region.

As of 05 July 2015, local authorities reported that levels of the Arauca and Sarare rivers had started to fall.

Tachira and Barinas and Colombia also Flooded

The states of Tachira and Barinas in Venezuela have also been affected by flooding after heavy rainfall.

Parts of neighbouring Colombia, namely the departments of Arauca, Norte de Santander and Boyacá, experienced flooding last week which affected 5,500 people, destroyed over 100 houses, left 600 damaged, and also damaged 43 roads, 31 bridges and 62 aqueducts.