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(June 16–21, 2005)

Jean-Marc Paratte

Undergound River

Orlando Palencia

San Julian River - When Water Means Disaster

Los Corales, Estado Vargas, Venezuela

June 21, 2005 22:16 UTC (18:16 local time)

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© 2005 Orlando Palencia, All Rights Reserved.

In December of 1999 exceptional rains on the northern part of Venezuela triggered massive floods and landslides in the coastal state of Vargas, near Caracas. Nearly 30,000 people died and 200,000 became homeless in what is considered the worst tragedy in the history of the country. Most of the bodies were never recovered, the mud covered them or were dragged to the sea. The magnitude of the catastrophe can still be seen in some places, like San Julian River and its surroundings. The river and the adjacent slopes became huge torrents of mud and rocks that devastated the populated areas, levelling dozens of houses that remain buried by the debris. Even apartment buildings were knocked by the rocks and partially collapsed. The recovery efforts will continue for years, and if the lesson was learned the damage won't be this huge the next time extraordinary rains occur.

Latin America / Venezuela

Lat: 10° 36' 31.55" N
Long: 67° 52' 13.32" W

Elevation: 73m

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Medium. Nearby, but not to the last decimal.

Pentax istD, Sigma 8mm lens, Manfrotto 302 head. PTMac, Enblend, Photoshop CS, MakeCubic

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