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Venezuela: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation n° MDRVE006

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

This year, the rainy season in Venezuela has been atypical. As a result, on 27 April, the states of Mérida, Zulia, Trujillo, Táchira, and the Capital District and Greater Caracas were declared in a state of emergency according to the Official Gazette No. 42.364, Decree No. 4.682.

On 27 May, an orange alert was declared in the Zulia region due to increased rainfall and the re-re-channelling of the Zulia River to the southern Lake Maracaibo. This situation has affected an estimated 56,778 people, 6,159 houses and a loss of 150,000 agricultural hectares in the Zulia province.

According to the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMEH), three more tropical waves were expected to hit early June, worsening the country's severe conditions, which have already caused the loss of at least two people.

Initially, the Civil Protection at the local level provided assistance to the families. Since June 6th, the impact of the Tropical Storm Six has exceeded the response capacity because of the damages reported due to the saturation of soil humidity, which caused floods across the country. In the state of Merida, 30,000 people have been affected in at least 20 sectors, including the damages to houses and infrastructure, and roads are waterlogged, limiting the access to communities.

Severe rains have continued over June with affectation on structures in some states of the country, affected, to a large extent, by flooding rivers. On 21 June, the governor's office of the Zulia state decreed a state of alert to activate all preventive mechanisms to avoid a significant population collapse due to the rising level of the Limón River, which has already reached its maximum level.

Local authorities have escalated the response actions to a national level, for which the Venezuelan Red Cross (VRC) has mobilized personnel and is continuously monitoring the different events occurring in the country. New tropical waves with short intervals of time between (2 or 3 days) continue, breaking previous year's rainfall records.