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Chavez Eyes Private Land to Help Flood Victims

People walk on a street flooded in Rio Chico, central Venezuela, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says the government will seize private land and tourist resorts to house the thousands of people made homeless by the worst flooding in 40 years.

Mr. Chavez ordered the government to seize nearly 36 hectares of privately owned land near the national airport and authorized the building of thousands of housing units.

He also authorized officials to take over unused hotel rooms and tourist resorts.

At least 32 people have died and more than 70,000 left homeless by flooding due to heavy rains in recent days.