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Strong earthquake in northeastern Venezuela



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."

Mr. Domínguez said the trembling caused walls in nearby houses to crumble even though he saw no major damage.

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.

Will Dudding contributed reports from New York.


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