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Flooding in Venezuela

April 8, 2010 — Heavy rain in Venezuela triggers flooding, but could also mark the end of an extended electricity crisis.

Heavy downpours drenched parts of Venezuela this week, flooding 400 homes and leading to the deaths of two people.

However, President Hugo Chavez is hailing the rain as a good thing.

An early start to the rainy season could mark the end of an extended electricity crisis. Water levels at the OPEC member's hydroelectric dams have dropped to critically low levels amidst the worst drought in a century. Venezuela depends on hydro generation for more than 70 per cent of its power, and the shortages have been jeopardizing the country's ability to emerge from recession.

Light rain has also cleared the skies over the capital Caracas, where forest fires have been filling the air with smoke for weeks.

Still, the National Weather Institute says the recent rains were due to a temporary weather pattern and that the rainy season will not start for another month.

This year's drought is being blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon.

For more on this story and other international stories making headlines, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Our newscast comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.

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