Puebla, Mexico, June 22, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday he had approved close to US$19 million in funding for emergency services in the wake of tropical storm Bret.
Bret battered Venezuela’s central northern coastline earlier this week, flooding some regions and forcing school closures on Margarita Island.
No fatalities have been reported, though the storm did disrupt commercial shipping.
Speaking to state media, Maduro said BsF10 billion had been earmarked for aid in the populous state of Miranda, amounting to around US$3.8 million at the official SIMADI exchange rate.
“These resources will address the emergency caused by the storm Bret, to start with the purchase of materials,” Maduro said, according to YVKE radio.
An additional BsF40 billion (just over US$15 million at the SIMADI rate) has also been set aside for the national government’s Ministry of Transport, which will provide aid to other parts of the country impacted by the storm.
“We have started an airlift in Sucre [state] to take care of affected homes [with] bedding, food, [and other] supplies,” Maduro said.
“Whatever is needed will be sent,” he added.
The second major storm of the 2017 hurricane season, Bret caught much of the region off guard. According to weather experts, Bret formed much further south than most storms this time of year. In addition to hitting Venezuela, Bret also lashed Caribbean nations including Trinidad and Tobago.