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Venezuelan president meets families homeless due to rains

12-02-2010 09:21 BJT

CARACAS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday met with 26 families who lost everything due to the rains, in an emergency shelter in the presidential palace.

During the meeting broadcast live by state television, Chavez symbolically turned over the first room in the shelter to the Rivero family, which was built for six people including two children.

"Welcome home, make yourselves calm and comfortable," Chavez told the evacuated families from different sectors of western Caracas.

The shelter at Miraflores Palace has a long hallway with rooms equipped with beds, cribs and basic necessities. The shelter also has bathrooms, medical services and a dining hall.

Chavez said that he hopes that the shelter will be there for one year, until the families can be permanently relocated to a proper home.

"You will have everything you need here," Chavez said.

Meanwhile, the victims expressed their gratitude for the shelter and asked Chavez to evacuate all the residents from the neighborhoods where they come from, which are high risk areas.

Chavez asked his officials to set up similar shelters in official buildings to cover these needs.

Chavez also said that his government already ordered the total evacuation of Blanco Palace and administrative offices near Miraflores Palace in order to use these buildings as shelters for the victims.

After visiting the Miraflores shelter, Chavez toured other areas of Caracas that have been affected by the rains, including Antimano, Blandin and Santa Ana.

On Tuesday, Caracas and three states were declared to be in a state of emergency.

The rains have killed 25 people and affected some 56,000 people.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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