World|life|August 22, 2018 / 09:29 AM
Venezuela hit by 7.3-magnitude earthquake

AKIPRESS.COM - Venezuela’s northern coast has been rocked by a powerful earthquake that was felt across the Caribbean and sent people rushing out into the streets hundreds of kilometres away in the capital, Caracas, The Guardian reports.

The United States Geological Survey said a 7.3-magnitude earthquake had struck off the South American country’s northern coast at 5.31pm local time on Tuesday, east of the city of Carúpano at a depth of 123km (76 miles). The Colombian Geological Service said it was a 7.0-magnitude quake.

The earthquake was felt more than 600km further east in Caracas, where the crisis-stricken nation’s political leaders were celebrating a “revolutionary” new economic plan they claim will rescue Venezuela’s crumbling economy but economists fear will make it worse.

According to Associated Press, the confusing moments after the quake were captured on state television as Diosdado Cabello, one of Venezuela’s most powerful politicians, was delivering a speech at a pro-government rally. “Earthquake!” many members of the audience cried, pointing to the ground, as Cabello and others looked from side to side.

“I had never felt such a strong earthquake 😨,” tweeted María Ramírez Cabello, a Venezuelan journalist who was in Ciudad Bolívar at the time of the quake, alongside images of people running out of a supermarket.

Footage posted on social media by another Venezuelan journalist showed terrified residents racing out into the street after the quake struck

Venezuela’s interior minster, Néstor Luis Reverol, tweeted: “We call on all of the people of Venezuela to remain calm.” Authorities were ready to deal with “any emergency”, he added.

In a short address to the nation Reverol added: “We want to inform you … that at 5.31 we had a 6.3 magnitude earthquake [that] was felt in various states of the country [including] Nueva Esparta, Sucre, Monagas, Bolívar, Delta Amacuro, Aragua, Carabobo and the capital.”

“So far there have been no reports of any victims,” the minister said.

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