MSF has dispatched an exploratory team to Venezuela after disastrous mud flows hit large parts of the coastal region. Days of continual torrential rains triggered off huge mud flows on the Venezuelan coast.
Many hotels and holiday resorts are situated in the stricken coastal area, a zone 48 kilometres long. While the disaster did not take long, it had a catastrophic impact. Cities and villages in the area were largely swallowed up and covered with a thick layer of mud and rocks.
Unofficial estimates of the total number of dead run as high as 50,000. Over 200,000 people have become homeless. No reliable figures have been made available yet. Many of the homeless have found shelter in special relief centres.
The exploratory team has advised the organisation not to send any staff or relief supplies to the disaster area at this moment in time, as medical needs are so far being adequately met by other organisations, the Venezuelan army and host families.
MSF remains in the area to closely monitor the humanitarian situation.