A strong earthquake preliminarily measured at magnitude 7.3 rocked Venezuela early Tuesday evening, rocking much of northern South America and sending people fleeing from their homes.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or significant damage.
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 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.