Asian Disaster Reduction Center(ADRC)
Disaster Information
TOP PAGEDisaster Information > Details of Disaster Information

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of): Flood: 1999/12 Country Information on DRR

Period 1999/12
Country or District Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Event Type Flood
Outline Heavy rains caused landslides and overflowing of main rivers, affecting in particular the coastal regions from the eastern State of Anzoategui to the State of Zulia on the west coast. Although the official death toll (based on the body count) remains very low, the media, local authorities and other unofficial sources estimate that between 25,000 and 50,000 people died in the disaster.
Human Impact Physical Impact Others
IFRC 2000/02/11
The official death toll is 30,000 but other sources put the figure as high as 50,000.
63,072 persons are housed in 280 national shelters.
Catholic Relief Services 2000/02/08
The Government of Venezuela reports that there are possibly 30,000 people dead while another 340,000 people remain homeless. At least 200,000 jobs have been lost. There is $2 billion worth of damage to roads, bridges and buildings.
IFRC 2000/01/20
The official death toll, originally very low, is rising, as bodies carried out to sea are washed ashore. Unofficial sources are now putting estimates at around 30,000. Over 600,000 persons are estimated to have been directly affected. According to the Venezuelan Civil Defense's initial damage assessments, at least 64,707 houses were damaged and over 23,200 destroyed.
The Civil Defense reported that as of 14 January, there were 114,388 displaced persons living in 326 military shelters; 5,944 persons have been registered as missing.
The unemployment rate is now 60% in the state of Vargas, where up to 230,000 have lost their jobs.
OCHA Situation Report No. 7 2000/01/12
According to an assessment made by the National Housing Council (CONAVI), 4,965 buildings and 7,750 homes were affected by the disaster in Vargas State. An estimated 4 million cubic meters of sediments were deposited in 875 hectares of urban grounds by the torrential rains of December last year.
American Red Cross News 2000/01/05
By some estimates, about 200,000 people already are homeless as a result of the disaster. By some estimates, as many as 24,000 homes should be torn down in Caracas alone. Under the government's plan, some 3,500 homes in the disaster zone will be demolished immediately to prevent people from returning.
OCHA Situation Report No.6 2000/01/06
Over 600,000 persons have been affected. Approximately 51,000 persons are still in some 107 temporary shelters.
CNN News 2000/01/05 04:48GMT
The death toll is up to 50,000. The government is building subsidized houses for many of the survivors as part of a plan to move city dwellers into the country. And President Hugo Chavez has warned that idle farmland could be expropriated from owners who refused to pay taxes and did not cooperate with relocation plans. With most of the worst-hit state of Vargas still without running water and tens of thousands of flood survivors living in cramped shelters around the country, authorities were on guard for diseases such as cholera, dengue and yellow fever.
OCHA Situation Report No.5 1999/12/27
An estimated 3,600 rural families have been affected. Based on WFP estimates, 15% of the population in shelters are comprised of children under 5 years of age and the majority of the remaining 85% are women. Approximately 35,000 hectares of farmland remain flooded and, in some areas, up to 60% of the harvest are lost.
OCHA Situation Report No.3 1999/12/21
Some basic services such as electricity, telephone and water have been re-established in some areas. Caracas water supply reported to be normal. International airport serving Caracas remains closed ; Port of La Guaira expected to be reactivated within 3-4 weeks although several warehouses severely damaged. Roads continue to be blocked between Caracas and La Guaira for civilians and many roads have been wiped out within Vargas State.
OCHA Situation Report No. 2 1999/12/19
The overall population affected is 150,000 with many people missing. The death toll is at present indicated to be 2,000.
OCHA Situation Report No. 1 1999/12/17
120,000 people are affected.
At least 50 people are killed.
Many persons are still missing.
Damage assessment results are not available, but serious damage has been reported to housing, transportation, electricity, and communications infrastrauctures.

Related Links


Latest updates on the Floods in Venezuela
A list of the latest major documents added to ReliefWeb pertaining to the the Venezuela: Floods - Dec 1999.

IFRC 2000/02/17
The Venezuelan Red Cross Society (VRCS), the Federation and other National Societies are continuing to support flood victims with food rations and health care but relief distribution is going more slowly than anticipated mainly because of congestion at the port and on the already damaged roads.

IFRC 2000/02/11
A state of alert is still in effect in the State of Vargas as rains continue in the mountains. Eight districts are still only accessible by air. Twenty four new landslides and floods were recorded during the past week.

Catholic Relief Services 2000/02/08
Urgent needs include clean water and sanitation. Catholic Relief Services proposes to reach nearly 2,300 families with water.

Accident and Disaster Information Center Report

IFRC 2000/01/27
The people of Honduras have mobilized resources to help victims of the recent flooding in Venezuela.

IFRC 2000/01/20
The government is continuing the registration of affected families. It is identifying places for housing developments where it intends to relocate the homeless, but many families are unwilling to move to the provinces.

AFP 2000/01/18
The impact of three days of rains was worst in the already-devastated state of Vargas, which neighbors Caracas. Eight sectors of Vargas were rendered incommunicado Tuesday, authorities said. Overflowing rivers and streams were undoing much of the reconstruction work accomplished in the state.

AFP 2000/01/17
Governor of Vargas state, said panic was sweeping his state after some 50 hours of incessant rain that triggered more landslides and overflowing rivers.

AFP 2000/01/13
Nearly one month after heavy rains flooded Venezuela, 114,388 people left homeless huddle in 326 shelters, as families strive to locate lost relatives.

IFRC 2000/01/13
The International Federation issued an updated emergency appeal last week for CHF 13,298,000. The money, in cash, kind and services, is initially destined to provide 50,000 people with basic relief goods, including blankets, sanitation equipment and medicines.

AFP 2000/01/12
The Pentagon is sending two boatloads of military engineers and roadbuilding equipment to Venezuela to help clear a coastal road that was wiped out by last month's floods and mudslides.

OCHA Situation Report No. 7 2000/01/12
The Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Caracas informs that the death toll is now estimated at 30,000. Some 100,000 people from Vargas were evacuated, of whom 35,000 are currently in shelters in Caracas, and 15,000 are in shelters in other cities.

AFP 2000/01/08
Forecasters here warned Saturday that heavy rain in coming weeks could bring the risk of further mudslides to the capital and coastal regions to the north of the city. The air force's weather forecasting service warned that further torrential rain is forecast for January.

Yahoo! News Photos
Each photo has its explanation

CNN News 2000/01/10 09:25GMT
In the Catuche slum in northern Caracas, recognized by the U.N. Development Program as a model for improving conditions in poor neighborhoods, community project saved lives during killer floods.

OCHA Situation Report No.6 2000/01/06
Government is proceeding with rehabilitation and reconstruction although several thousand people in shelters continue to receive emergency assistance. Furthermore the Venezuelan Civil Defense together with the Venezuelan Red Cross are completing a census of shelters.

American Red Cross News 2000/01/05
As heavy rains and flooding threaten more lives along Venezuela's devastated Caribbean coast, authorities are forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

CNN News 2000/01/05 04:48GMT
Venezuelan authorities warned people on Jan. 6 not to use some of the country's top Caribbean beaches, after victims of last month's deadly mudslides were found floating nearby. Most of the bodies were found in Falcon state, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Caracas.

BBC News 2000/01/06 22:46GMT
The authorities in Venezuela are to declare a national health alert to prevent the spread of epidemics following last month's devastating floods.

CNN News 2000/01/05 18:28GMT
Up to 50,000 people are believed to have died. Officials say the final death count may never be known as most of the bodies were swept out to sea or buried under tons of earth and rubble.

OCHA Situation Report No.5 1999/12/27
On 23 December 1999, the Government of Venezuela has officially requested support from the United Nations System to assist Venezuela in alleviating the impact caused by the disaster.

OCHA Situation Report No.3 1999/12/21
Government grateful for assistance rendered so far while underlining there is still a need for international assistance and for plans for rehabilitation/reconstruction

OCHA Situation Report No. 2 1999/12/19
The weather has considerably improved, but the massive scale of the disaster is becoming increasingly evident. The State of Vargas is the are most affected.

OCHA Situation Report No. 1 1999/12/17
Heavy rain have triggered landslide and overflowing of main rivers and mountain streams, affecting in particular the coastal regions from the eastern State of Anzoategui to the State of Zulia on the west coast. The situation continues o be critical with heavy rains expected to last for the next few days.

[ERI Emergency Relief Information]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: Emergency Assistance
Japanese only

IFRC News - Venezuela Floods
Although the official death toll (based on the body count) remains very low, the media, local authorities and other unofficial sources estimate that between 25,0000 to 50,000 people died in the disaster.

Make Donation Online-Venezuelan Flood Victims Relief
Fundraising campaign run by Embassy of Venezuela

Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in the United States of America
Venezuela appeals for international help