A landslide fuelled by flooding and days of torrential rain has swept through a town in central Venezuela, leaving at least 25 people dead.

More than 52 people are also missing after the banks of five small rivers burst, following the relentless rain.

The cascading waters joined with rainfall from surrounding mountains which dragged mud, rocks, debris and large trees through neighbourhoods.

Venezuela‘s vice president Delcy Rodriguez said one of the worst hit areas was the community of Tejerias, 40 miles (67 kilometres) southwest of Caracas, where businesses and farmland were also damaged.

Pumps used to power the community’s drinking water system were carried away in the floodwaters, she said.

The deaths bring the total killed in recent weeks to at least 40 due to heavy rains caused by the La Nina weather pattern.

The priority now is to locate people still trapped under mud and rocks throughout the town, while military and rescue personnel also searched the riverbanks for survivors.

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“We have lost boys, girls,” the vice president said from a flooded street in Tejerias, adding: “What has happened in the town of Tejerias is a tragedy.”

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Homes in Caracas were in jeopardy when elevated land gave way after recent prolonged rains

The state television channel aired images of muddy streets filled with tangled tree branches and large rocks.

One of the flooded rivers, the El Pato, swept away several houses and shops, according to search and rescue authorities.

Carlos Perez, deputy minister for the country’s civil protection system, said in a tweet that more than 1,000 rescuers were looking for victims in the area.

The downpour also caused landslides in three other central states on Sunday, Ms Rodriguez said, but claimed no victims.