Mérida State on Alert due to Heavy Rain, 13 Deaths Reported

At least 13 deaths have been reported in Mérida state (western Venezuela) due to the heavy rains that have hit the state in recent days, and it is feared that the number of deaths may rise.

Local authorities have reported that 11 deaths have been confirmed in the municipality of Tovar and two more in Santa Cruz de Mora, where the victims were two children.

The mayor of Antonio Pinto Salinas municipality, Edgar Márquez, informed that the deceased minors were a 6-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy who died when their home collapsed.

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In the Tovar municipality, heavy rains have not only left people dead, injured and missing, but at least 50% of the streets of the town have been blocked.

Moreover, in the south of Mérida, at least two houses were totally destroyed, while another 15 were affected by the overflow of the Mocotíes River.

So far, the most affected area is the Mocotíes Valley, where several sectors have been cut off by large rocks and sediments that fell down in a landslide from the surrounding mountains.

Additionally, since the night of August 23, five municipalities have suffered power outages due to flooding of the Tovar electrical substation. The towns that have been affected by blackouts are Tovar, Antonio Pinto Salinas, Guaraque, Rivas Dávila and Zea.

The director of the National Electric Corporation (CORPOELEC) in Mérida, Ricardo Cadenas, informed that the Tovar electrical substation got flooded on Monday night, due to which electricity service was suspended.

The PSUV candidate for the governorship of Mérida, Jehyson Guzmán, informed that different security and prevention agencies have been deployed in the state to address the situation that has arisen due to heavy rains.

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Guzmán indicated that the Peñoncito ravine overflowed in the municipality of Mérida, causing severe damages. The flood has also prevented Civil Protection teams from arriving to assess the damage.

Guzmán further informed that, as a result of the overflows, a municipal Civil Protection vehicle was swept away by water, causing injuries in some of the emergency personnel.

Five officials were injured, of them three are forest firefighters and two Civil Protection officials.

 

 

Featured image: Fallen debris block a street as a result of the heavy rains in Mérida. Photo: RedRadioVE

(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/GMS/SC

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