Many Macuto residents left the region in the aftermath of the disaster. Hundreds were rehoused by the state in the interior of the country, while hundreds more found alternative accommodation in Caracas or elsewhere. Their exile was not always permanent.
Listen to José Luis Corzo explain why the Vargas survivors decided to return:
Some of those who came back built new living spaces on the banks of the rivers that had flooded. These photographs illustrate the volume of debris that was deposited at the mouth of the river, serving as the foundations for these new houses.
The mass exodus from Vargas caught the attention of writers, filmmakers, and artists. Frank Spano’s film, Hora menos, and Juan Carlos Méndez Guédez’s book, Una tarde con campanas, both tell stories of children who sought refuge in Spain after the landslides.