Venezuela landslide kills at least 39 people, over 50 missing
A landslide in Venezuela is believed to have killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more, according to the country’s civil protection agency.
The landslide occurred at a construction site in the town of San Cristobal in Guarico state, which is located on the country’s Caribbean coast northwest of the capital, Caracas, according to the agency.
Guarico state’s civil protection chief, Jorge Rodriguez, released an updated toll of 39 dead, while over 50 people remain missing.
The agency said the landslide occurred at the site of a planned hospital building, where the construction was being undertaken.
The agency also confirmed that the area was prone to flooding after heavy rains in the area in recent days.
The National Guard had been deployed, according to Rodriguez, as heavy rain lashed the area after Tropical Storm Maria.
“The military is deployed to check the area where the landslide happened, which has not been declared dangerous,” he said.
The number of casualties reported was higher than initially feared, Rodriguez said. He said he was told that the casualties included some people who were reported missing after the landslide. “The number of people that died were higher, we’re still learning the extent of the death,” Rodriguez said.
Guarico is located near the border with Colombia and Venezuela’s eastern border with Guyana, where Maria’s rainfall and flooding had left at least 15 dead and caused severe flooding.
Venezuela’s civil protection agency has already said that at least 35 people were missing following the landslide.
An aerial view shows damage caused by a landslide in the town of San Cristobal on February 5, 2018 [HUANG XU/AFP/Getty Images]
An aerial view on February 5, 2018 showed the damage caused by a landslide in the town of San Cristobal [HUANG XU/AFP/Getty Images]
People wait on a street to see if a landslide which killed at least 50 people in Venezuela caused by heavy rain is blocked by a road, in the town of San Cristobal, state of Guarico, Venezuela February 5