CARACAS, Venezuela – A strong earthquake hit northeast Venezuela on Tuesday with a jolt that shook Caracas and Caribbean islands near the Venezuelan coast
There were no immediate reports of deaths, said Néstor Reverol, the Home Secretary's television address , He said the quake affected five states and deployed 20,000 forces
"It was just a very scary moment," said Harrison Dominguez, 28, who lives in Yaguaraparo, about 12 miles from the epicenter of the quake. When the quake set in around 5:30 pm, he said, "The light poles moved as if they were trees during a hurricane."
In Caracas, the capital, an unfinished skyscraper called David's Tower was damaged on the upper floors, Reverol said. Across Caracas, the workers quickly evacuated office buildings after shaking for about 30 seconds.
People in Trinidad also felt strong shocks, and videos uploaded to social media showed debris that fell on cars counters and damaged buildings
Amateur videos from social media in Caracas showed that office workers took to the streets. There were unconfirmed reports of interrupted telephone and Internet malfunctions.
The United States Geological Survey quantified the magnitude of the quake at 7.3, saying it had a depth of 76 miles. Its epicenter was 12 miles northwest of Yaguaraparo, Venezuela, near the Caribbean coast, about 100 miles west of Trinidad and Tobago.
The quake was also reported in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, about 900 miles away, The Associated Press. 19659002] In 1997, an earthquake struck eastern Venezuela in which dozens were killed.
Will Dudding contributed reports from New York.