Massive landslide in Venezuela kills four, leaves at least 50 missing

A massive landslide has killed at least four people and left 50 missing after a river in central Venezuela flooded following heavy rains.

The El Pato River, 67 kilometers southwest of Caracas, flooded and washed away several houses, shops and a slaughterhouse, according to search and rescue services.

Juan Mario Gualano, director of the Aragua state Red Cross, said at least four people had died after being caught in landslides.

Carlos Perez, deputy minister of the country’s civil protection system, said in a Sunday tweet that a thousand rescuers were searching for victims in the area.

Distraught residents of Las Tejerias were seen hugging each other afterwards and searching for missing relatives.

Residents walk through debris left by flooding caused by a river that overflowed after days of intense rain

A woman cries as she searches for a missing relative in a flooded area in Las Tejerias, Venezuela

Streets are flooded after the El Pato River overflows

Residents hug each other in Las Tejerias, Venezuela after heavy rain caused a river to overflow and flood

Residents walk through debris left by flooding caused by a river that overflowed after days of intense rain

One resident, Karen Salinas, was photographed holding her cat after the flood, and another, Jose Medina, was seen climbing out of his window.

Anderson Silva, a resident of the area, said a retaining wall was missing after days of heavy rain, according to Sky News.

Mr Silva and his partner Isabel Peña rushed to their home to collect some of their belongings but feared the rest of the building would collapse.

“I knew something terrible had fallen because there was a first fall, then another second fall. Then we (had to) run away,” Ms Peña said.

According to the Institute of Meteorology, the storm is now officially classified as a tropical depression and the chances of it becoming a hurricane are likely.

Men carry a dog rescued from the mud after flooding caused by intense rains in Las Tejerias

Karen Salinas holds her cat next to her flood-damaged home in Las Tejerias

A man reunites with his dog rescued by neighbors from the mud after the area was flooded during the landslide

Cars are piled up at a garage after intense rain caused flash floods and overflowed the Las Tejerias River

Women embrace in a flooded street outside their home in Las Tejerias

The deaths bring to 22 the total killed in recent weeks due to heavy rains caused by La Niña weather.

La Niña, “the little girl,” is the term adopted for a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean.

Strong winds blow warm water to the surface of the ocean from South America to Indonesia.

As warm water moves west, cold water from the depths rises to the surface near the coast of South America.

Jose Medina climbs out of his home flooded by an overflowing gully caused by intense rains

Residents sit outside a health center waiting for news from relatives who have gone missing since the flood

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