Tuesday, December 15, 2009
10th Anniversary of the 1999 Vargas Tragedy
It is with great sadness that we remember the tragedy that occurred on 15 December 1999, one of the worst human tragedies in recent Venezuelan history, when heavy rains over 14 days brought devastating floods and huge mudslides down from the Avila mountain, wreaking havoc and destruction on the coastal towns and barrios of Vargas State, burying houses, roads and whole families under thousands of tons of mud and killing between 10,000 and 30,000 people.
Many thousands more were made homeless and spent months in temporary shelters, with many families separated for long periods, before they could be rehoused. For some the events of those dark days were so traumatic they have never returned and many hundreds of houses will never be excavated from the concrete-like mud that now covers them.
The shocking images in this short video about the tragedy give a small idea of how terrifying the forces of nature can be when they are unleashed.