Officials in the state of Aragua in north-central Venezuela reported that at least 22 people have died and 52 were missing after flash floods in the town of Tejerias.
Torrential rain fell on steep slopes surrounding Tejerias in Santos Michelena municipality, late on 08 October 2022, causing raging flood waters and debris to flow through streets in scenes reminiscent of the floods in the Mocotíes Valley Area in August last year.
Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said that a month’s worth of rain had fallen in just eight hours. Karina Carpio, Governor of Aragua State, said at least 5 rivers or streams in the area had broken their banks.
The force of the floods caused catastrophic damage, destroying homes and filling streets with mud, boulders, trees and other debris. Power and water infrastructure has been severely impacted, and many of the town’s 80,000 residents were left without power or water.
As many as 52 people are thought to be missing and a team of over 1,000 military, fire, police and rescue personnel including special units using drones and sniffer dogs are searching for survivors.
President Nicolas Maduro declared the area a disaster zone and announced three days of mourning.
Areas of Venezuela have seen heavy rain since late September. At least 7 people died in a tragic accident following flash floods in Lobatera municipality, Táchira State on 23 September 2022.
Heavy rains and thunderstorms affected areas Lara state in north-western Venezuela from 27 September. Media reported streets were flooded in Barquisimeto, the state capital. Two people were reported missing and the body of one person was later found. Another victim died after electrocution in Ándrés Eloy Blanco municipality. Further heavy rain and flooding struck in the city and areas of Palavecino municipality on 29 September. Local media reported at least 177 houses damaged.
Flooding also affected areas of Zulia State at this time. Media reported around 400 people affected. Civil Protection reported the overflow if the Chama River in Colon Municipality, Zulia.
Media reported flooded roads in areas of Caracas on 27 September 2022 where one person died. More recently heavy rainfall in the capital on 06 October caused flooding and landslides which damaged or destroyed residential buildings.
Frente a la difícil y dolorosa situación ocasionada por las fuertes lluvias en Las Tejerías, ordené a la Vicepresidenta @delcyrodriguezv, al Gabinete Social y a todos los organismos de seguridad, el máximo despliegue para la atención integral del pueblo. ¡No están solos! pic.twitter.com/LlKNaUQC1Z
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) October 9, 2022
El Ministro del Poder Popular para Relaciones Interiores, Justicia y Paz, resaltó que, “el Sistema Nacional de Riesgo está activado por orden de nuestro Presidente C/J @NicolasMaduro, con 1200 funcionarios de Bomberos, Protección Civil y Policías
— INAMEH (@INAMEH) October 9, 2022
#9Oct | Más de mil funcionarios del SNGR y efectivos policiales continúan el plan de búsqueda y rescate en Las Tejerías, municipio Santos Michelena, Edo. Aragua, debido al desbordamiento de la Quebrada Los Patos.@CeballosIchaso1
— cperezampueda (@cperezampueda) October 9, 2022
#EnFotos | Así se realizó el despliegue en Las Tejerias, municipio Santos Michelena, #Aragua con maquinaria pesada, remoción de escombros, atención de salud y alimentación.@NicolasMaduro@delcyrodriguezv@Soykarinacarpio#VenezuelaConTejerías pic.twitter.com/SMhrMnoQBk
— Gobierno Aragua (@GobiernoAragua_) October 10, 2022