Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heavy rains trigger floods in Venezuela (

Heavy rains trigger floods in Venezuela by Philip Avery

Torrential rains have hit several regions of Venezuela over the past week, leaving at least 9 people dead and hundreds homeless.

The rains have been particularly persistent in the north of the country, around the capital of Caracas. Several rivers including the Guaire River in the city centre have burst their banks, leading to severe flooding and mudslides.

The rains turned streets into rivers and caused damage to homes and crops. Rescue crews battled to reach people trapped by landslides that blocked hillside roads and crushed vehicles stuck in traffic.

The torrential rains have been blowing in on easterly winds, bringing moist air from the western Atlantic. Heavy rains are not uncommon during this time of year, as the rainy season for northern Venezuela usually spans from May until November, although the rains of this week have been particularly persistent.

There is no sign of the wet season coming to an end just yet. Caracas is likely to experience yet more rainfall over this weekend and the start of next week as further heavy showers are forecast.