Deadly landslides have swept away homes in Venezuela’s Las Tejerias city, south of the capital Caracas. At least 22 people have been reported dead, and a further 52 are missing after the torrential rainfall caused by La Niña weather pattern.
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez visited one of the worst-affected areas on Sunday. Rescue services are working to find those still missing, she said.
President Nicolas Maduro described the situation as “difficult and painful”.
About 1,000 emergency personnel were taking part in search and rescue operations, deputy civil protection minister Carlos Perez Ampueda added.
The landslides happened after the El Pato river burst its banks, and the resulting floodwaters swept away several houses and shops.
Carmen Melendez, a 55-year-old local, told AFP: “The village is lost. Las Tejerias is lost.”
Las Tejerias, which is some 67km (42 miles) from Caracas, has been hit the hardest in Venezuela by this year’s La Niña weather pattern.
La Niña is a naturally-occurring event, which involves a cooling of the Pacific Ocean and usually brings wetter conditions to Asia, Africa and Latin America.