The People of Venezuela Unite Amid Heavy Rains and Landslides

The People of Venezuela Unite Amid Heavy Rains and Landslides

Heavy rains across Venezuela have caused massive flooding, especially in the western states of Zulia, Mérida, Táchira, and Trujillo through last week. According to the Caribbean nation’s National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMEH), there were 180 mm of precipitation over 48 hours in the worst-hit areas, three times the monthly average for April. Significant rainfall is expected in the coming days as well. Mudslides have destroyed houses and cut off roads, while damaged infrastructure has caused electricity, water supply, and telecommunication outages. Additionally, the overflowing of dikes and other protective barriers has caused agricultural areas to be flooded. Campesinos from the fertile Sur del Lago area showed pictures of lost crops underwater, particularly plantains. At least 70,000 sown hectares of land were reportedly lost.

“We should raise our response capabilities tenfold,” the Venezuelan President said in a broadcast on Tuesday. He also called on grassroots organizations to “prepare themselves and coordinate with regional authorities.” Announcing an emergency decree, he added that the government would spend “whatever is necessary” and provide all the machinery for reconstruction operations. According to local media, over 20,000 families had seen their houses compromised by the extreme weather. There were unconfirmed reports of three deaths in Mérida state because of the floods.

The Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela (UEPV) has a strong presence in the western part of the country. In a recent conversation with the Reverend Gamaliel Lugo, UEPV’s General Bishop, he told me the following:

“The situation with the rains has been complicated. The government declared a state of emergency in four states. In the case of Zulia, the municipalities of Colon, Sucre, Catatumbo, and Francisco Javier Pulgar, stand out with the highest number of affected people. Currently, rescue and support operations in health, food, dredging, and construction of containment barriers in sectors such as La Fortuna, Paraíso, Sinaí, and La Quinta, among others. Entire towns were isolated by the destruction of roads and bridges. So far, we only have material damage. The rains continue, and evacuation on time is proving to be positive. There are contingents of volunteers and personnel from the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior Relations, Justice and Peace organization, the “Barrio Adentro” Mission, social movements like Unamujer, and the people organized in committees.”

I have monitored our people in different communities, and until now, there have been no fatal victims. Churches have joined the work of the government by providing supplies to hospitals in the area. They have succeeded by collecting clothing, drinking water, non-perishable food, mattresses, etc. They are sending the articles to the collection centers. The President has already allocated resources for the emergency and machinery. The Armed Forces are already on the site to build military bridges and re-establish land passage. Everything is working out fine.”

The Word of God says to our brothers and sisters in Venezuela that, in all these things, they are more than conquerors through Him who loved them. In addition, it says that nothing will separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37, 39b).  Amid rains and mudslides, UEPV continues its solidarity with the people of Venezuela, honoring the kind of salvation they have lived through Jesus Christ. That love impels them to provide for the needs of their brothers and sisters in the western part of the country. It also calls us to walk alongside them, as well. Global Ministries welcomes gifts in support of the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela – please put its name in the Project/Partner box if giving online or in the memo line if giving by check.