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Venezuelan flooding claims 25

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Flooding and mudslides have killed 25 people
  • A state of emergency is declared in three states
  • The president allows 26 displaced families to live on the palace grounds

(CNN) -- The death toll from flooding and mudslides in Venezuela rose to 25 as a state of emergency was extended from one to three states and the capital district, the state-run VTV network reported Wednesday.

President Hugo Chavez proclaimed a state of emergency in Vargas and Miranda states Wednesday, in addition to Falcon state.

About 32,000 people in Falcon are displaced, according to the AVN national news agency. Another 25,000 are affected elsewhere across the country, it said.

As part of the government efforts, Chavez opened up the Miraflores Palace grounds to some victims of the flooding.

He was seen on state television showing the families who will be staying on the grounds their accommodations, which included bunk beds with mutli-patterned and colored sheets and blankets for children.

Some 26 families were being brought to the palace to stay in the emergency shelters, VTV reported.

A hotel in Tucucas, in Falcon state, will provide temporary accommodations for 630 people made homeless because of the rains, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said at a news conference. Each family will receive a private room with a private bathroom.

According to a news release from Executive Vice President Elias Jaua, classes are cancelled in 11 states until at least Friday.

CNN's Esprit Smith and Karen Smith contributed to this report.