Flood damage in Merida, Venezuela, August 2021.
© Government of Merida
Flood damage in Merida, Venezuela, August 2021.
At least 15 people have died after heavy rain caused foods and mudslides in the state of Mérida in western Venezuela.

Hours of heavy rain fell on the steep slopes surrounding the Mocotíes Valley Area late on 23 August 2021. Mudslides and overflowing rivers inundated communities in the valley below. Powerful floods dragged cars through streets, buried roads with mud, rocks and debris and damaged or destroyed homes. Power supply has been cut in affected areas.

Governor of the state, Ramon Guevara, reported 11 fatalities in the municipality of Tovar and two in the municipality of Antonio Pinto Salinas. Officials later reported 2 fatalities in Sucre municipality. Six people are thought to be still missing.

Initial assessments suggested hundreds of families have been affected. The hardest hit area is El Corozo in Tovar where the governor reported at least 80 houses were damaged or destroyed. Two evacuation centres have been set up to house some of those displaced, while others have moved to the homes of friends or relatives. Along with Tovar, Antonio Pinto and Sucre, the municipality of Rivas Dávila was also affected.

In 2005 as many as 500 people died in floods and mudslides in the same areas of the Mocotíes Valley in what is now referred to as the Mocotíes tragedy.

Carabobo State

Local media also reported flooding struck in the city of Valencia, capital of Carabobo State, on 23 August 2021. Heavy rain caused the rivers and drainage channels to overflow. Streets of the city were flooded and buildings damaged. One person had to be rescued from a vehicle trapped in flood waters.