2 Dec 2010

Palace doors opened to flooded families

1:48 pm on 2 December 2010

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has opened the doors of the presidential palace to 26 families made homeless by floods in the north of the country.

Thousands more people are sleeping in temporary shelters after their homes were swamped by floodwater or swept away by landslides.

Mr Chavez has urged people in parts of Caracas that are particularly at risk, to move to safer ground.

At least 21 people are dead after days of rain.

Emergency decrees have been issued for three states in the north: Vargas, Miranda and the Capital District including most of Caracas.

Also hard hit were other northern states such as Nueva Esparta, Carabobo and Aragua.