Hopes are fading of finding alive any of the 56 people missing after a devastating landslide swept through Las Tejerias town with 36 confirmed deaths to date.

More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, according to officials.
More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, according to officials. (AFP Archive)

The death toll from the devastating landslide that swept through a northern town of Venezuela is expected to reach 100 victims, President Nicolas Maduro has said the

"Thirty-nine bodies have already been recovered," he said on state television on Tuesday.

"There are still a significant number of missing people: 56... We are reaching almost a hundred fatal victims of this tragedy."

Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of Venezuelans roamed the streets of Las Tejerias, digging and searching for missing relatives after devastating floods swept through the town over the weekend, leaving many wondering where they would now live.

"I want them to give me a house for my children because I was left homeless. I was left with nothing," said Yolismar Marin, 22, while sitting in a school serving as a shelter for victims of floods that swept through Las Tejerias on Saturday night.

Though electricity and cellphone coverage has been restored to the town of some 73,000 people, it remains without running water, according to the Reuters news agency witnesses.

"We lost everything," said Marin, accompanied by her two children and husband Devis Manrique, 30. The floods carried mud, rocks, trees and other debris into the town in Venezuela's Aragua state, destroying houses and businesses.

Over 1,000 destroyed, damaged homes

Government officials who visited Las Tejerias, about 67 kilometres southwest of the capital Caracas, promised to recover all the houses and businesses affected.

More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, officials said.

On Tuesday housewife Jennifer Galindez, 46, buried her one-year-old granddaughter Estefania, who drowned after flood water swept into Galindez's home.

Galindez's husband, who had a leg amputated due to severe diabetes, remains missing.

Yenimar Segovia, Estefania's mother and Galindez's daughter, said her life had fallen apart.

"I felt like my world had collapsed," said Segovia, 28, a nurse. 

"There's no sign of my dad yet. We're going to continue searching."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies