Major earthquake shakes Venezuela

Witnesses report earthquake injuries in city of Cumana

By Cody Weddle, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

CARACAS, Venezuela - A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit near northern Venezuela on Tuesday afternoon, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which had a depth of 76.5 miles, was about 23 miles southwest of Carúpano, a Caribbean city in the eastern Venezuelan state of Sucre.



The 5:30 p.m. earthquake shook buildings in Caracas and frightened residents who ran out to the streets. Celia Fuentes, a wheelchair user, said she was terrified while on the sixth floor of a building in Caracas.

"I couldn't get out unless someone got me out ... I was in the elevator afraid," said Fuentes, who wasn't injured and was able to evacuate the building. 

Venezuela's Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said about 6:40 p.m. that there weren't any reports of victims, but a witness in the Venezuelan city of Cumana reported there were several injuries at a shopping center where an escalator fell. 

"We are asking the people of Venezuela to remain calm," Reverol tweeted

There were reports of structural damage in Guayana, a city in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar. 




The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Center reported the deep 7.3-magnitude earthquake could cause small tsunami waves.

Residents of Bogota, Colombia, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago reported feeling the earthquake. 

The Trinidad & Tobago Weather Center reported that part of the historic Trinity Cathedral in Port of Spain fell onto a parked car. 



In Trinidad and Tobago's town of Chaguaramas, the floor split in half at the Sails Restaurant, according to CCNTV6.  





This is a developing story. 


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