People describe harrowing tales of escape from deadly landslide in Venezuela

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Rescue staff utilizing drones and educated canine looked for survivors Monday following a large landslide in central Venezuela, because the demise toll rose to 34 and residents described harrowing tales of escape from the water and dust.

Jose Medina recalled how the water streaming into his residence in the city of Las Tejerias on Saturday evening had reached waist stage. He and his household had been trapped, he realized.

So the 63-year-old turned his fridge sideways, opened its door and used it as a ship for his granddaughter. Meanwhile, he held on to the fridge together with his spouse, and pinned it to a desk in order that the robust currents of water wouldn’t push them downstream.

Medina described their survival as a “miracle.”

“I’m completely satisfied that we’re alive however I’m additionally unhappy,” mentioned the retired building employee who misplaced his residence and all of his belongings.

Rescuers carry a fabric bag, holding the physique of a toddler who was killed in the landslide. (Matias Delacroix/The Associated Press)

Streets blocked by mud

His plight started when torrential rains brought on by Hurricane Julia unleashed mudslides and floods that destroyed a number of mountainside neighbourhoods in Las Tejerias.

On Monday, Venezuelan officers mentioned no less than 34 folks died in the flooding and 60 are lacking following the worst pure catastrophe to hit the cash-strapped South American nation in latest years.

In Las Tejerias, a metropolis of 50,000 folks positioned alongside Venezuela’s foremost industrial hall, crews had been utilizing heavy equipment to clear particles from neighbourhoods whose streets had been nonetheless blocked with mud. 

“We are nonetheless hoping to seek out folks that may be saved” mentioned Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez as she toured one of the neighbourhoods affected by the mudslides.

Several young people surround an older person, with their arms extended around their shoulder.
The flooding and slides had been triggered by Hurricane Julia. (Matias Delacroix/The Associated Press)

Venezuelan authorities mentioned 317 houses in Las Tejerias had been worn out by the mudslide and one other 750 houses sustained injury.

Residents mentioned they solely had minutes to depart their houses late Saturday, because the avalanche of mud, rocks and tree logs swept over a number of hillside neighbourhoods in the town.

Some folks had been praying at an evangelical church when the mudslide occurred, whereas others had been at a kids’s get together, residents mentioned. Several kids are among the many lacking.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro on Sunday declared three days of mourning for the victims and despatched rescue staff to Las Tejerias, which lies alongside a freeway that connects Caracas to the commercial metropolis of Valencia. Maduro mentioned that 11 states in the nation sustained injury from floods over the weekend.

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