Caracas: The death toll from landslides that swept away houses in the Venezuelan town of Las Tejerias last weekend has increased to 36, while 56 people still remain unaccounted for, a government official announced.
In his announcement on Monday, Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos said the government has distributed 300 tonnes of food and water in the affected area, Xinhua news agency.
The Minister added that more than 3,000 members of police and fire departments, the Civil Protection agency and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces have been deployed to help with the recovery efforts.
Earlier, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said that 317 houses had been completely destroyed and 757 damaged.
While electricity has been restored, potable water service is still out of order, she added.
The landslides occurred after torrential rainfall caused the river El Pato to burst its banks.
The resulting floodwaters swept away, trees, cars, houses and shops in the town, some 50 km south-west of the capital, Caracas.