Natural hazards in Venezuela: travel safety tips

IMPORTANT: Venezuela is currently considered a "Do Not Travel" destination by several government travel warnings. For more information, please visit our Venezuela travel alerts page. Unfortunately, World Nomads cannot offer travel insurance for Venezuela.

Earthquake in Venezuela

Venezuela is located in an earthquake-prone zone where the Bocono fault runs through the Merida Andes in northwestern Venezuela.

In 1812, a well-known devastating quake occurred that completely destroyed the capital city of Caracas and caused 20.000 people killed. It was so powerful that it even formed a new lake and dammed a river.

In 2009, an offshore earthquake measurement 6.4 on the Richter scale struck 65mi (104km) from Caracas, causing a number of injuries and damage to buildings and power lines in the coastal city of Porto Cabellos, and in Caracas.

In 2018, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake shook Venezuela's north coast.

Earthquakes are impossible to predict, so it pays to be prepared and have a plan in mind, or at least know what to do during an earthquake.

What to do if there is an earthquake

  • When the quake hits Get physical protection from falling debris; get under a sturdy table or cover yourself with soft furniture or mattresses and use your hands to protect your head
  • When the quake stops, check yourself for injuries before helping others. Exit the building and move away from structures
  • There will be aftershocks, and sometimes many of them
  • Stay away from fallen power lines, they may live. And don't use an open flame, as gas can leak from broken utility lines
  • If communications are working, call the emergency number on your insurance policy. The team will be able to get messages to your family and also alert local authorities and consular officials from your home country.

Landslides in Venezuela

Venezuela is also subject to torrential rains, especially during the rainy season from May to November. Heavy rains can cause landslides.

The country suffered exceptionally heavy rains in late 2010, affecting large parts of the country, and road conditions remain poor. The government of Venezuela has announced a state of emergency in many states, including the capital city. You may still encounter damaged infrastructure that affects your travels.

Mudslides occurred in many areas of the country, particularly affecting slum areas on hillsides.

They have left many homeless and blocked or damaged roads and highways.

Air traffic at airports has been disrupted in the past, causing flight delays. If you travel during the rainy season, stay up to date on weather reports and prepare for possible transportation delays.

Hurricane season in Venezuela

Hurricanes are also a problem for travelers in Venezuela.

Atlantic hurricane season lasts every year from 1. June to 30.November and may affect parts of northern Venezuela.

The direction and strength of hurricanes can change without warning in.

Information on hurricanes or other severe weather can be obtained from the U.S. National Hurricane Center and Tropical Prediction Center or the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.

Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed or suspended. Available flights may fill up quickly. So it's best to leave as early as possible, as delaying that decision may leave you without options. In some areas, adequate protection from a major hurricane may not be available to all who choose to stay.

And while Venezuela is not prone to tropical hurricanes, its coastal region is occasionally hit by torrential rain, strong winds, high waves and storm surges.

Hurricanes are not such a problem in Caracas, as it is protected by the Avila Mountains and the simple meteorological fact that cyclones lose their strength as they move over land.

During the rainy season (which lasts from May to November, although heavy rains can occur outside this time), there is a possibility of flooding in certain low-lying areas of the country (z. the Llanos) and in some valleys in the Andes (Merida State).

What to do during a hurricane

  • You should familiarize yourself with the evacuation plans of your hotel or cruise ship
  • You should carry your travel documents (passport and photo ID) with you at all times or keep them in a safe, waterproof place. It is also a good idea to inform your family back home about your whereabouts and well-being.

Water safety in Venezuela

Travelers to Venezuela should be aware that the waters of the Caribbean can be treacherous and dangerous for swimmers or surfers.

It may look like a tropical paradise, but some areas have strong currents and undercurrents that can make swimming dangerous.

Lifeguards and warnings are not always present, so ask the locals if they think it's safe to swim or surf, and always tell someone where you are. Try to go with a buddy instead of alone to maximize safety.

Get a travel insurance quote for Venezuela

You can buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world. With over 150 adventure activities and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *