Turkey's Foreign Ministry offered condolences to Venezuela on Wednesday over floods and landslides caused by torrential rains in the western state of Merida that killed at least 20 people.
Noting that the news was received "with deep sorrow," the ministry said: "We extend our condolences to the friendly people and government of Venezuela and to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured."
State governor Ramon Guevara on Twitter urged the public not to "politicize" the tragedy at such a "critical moment," adding the lives and well-being of the people of Merida come before any political matters.
He earlier said that over 1,200 homes had been destroyed and 17 people remained missing, adding search and rescue efforts are continuing.
Severe flooding occurred in mountain villages and streets, while towns such as Tovar, Bailadores, Zea and Santa Cruz de Mora were among the main affected areas.
Most of the fatalities were reported in Tovar, where intense rains caused the Mocoties river to overflow after hours of rainfall.
A video posted on Twitter on Aug. 24 by lawmaker Olivia Lozano showed several vehicles being washed away by the surging flood.
Landslides and floods mainly caused by heavy rains are common in the Andean region in western and southwestern Venezuela.
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