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Strong Quake rocks Venezuela, but does little damage. Why?



  Strong earthquake shakes Venezuela; Evacuation of buildings in Caracas
  • The 7.3 earthquake was the largest that had struck Venezuela since 1900.
  • Buildings were evacuated to Caracas capital
  • The Caribbean earthquake occurred at considerable depths

A strong earthquake shook eastern Venezuela on Tuesday afternoon, forcing inhabitants of the capital, Caracas, to evacuate buildings to leave their homes.

The 7.3-earthquake – the largest that hit Venezuela since 1900, according to the US Geological Survey – was felt across the Caribbean. But at a depth of 76 miles (123 kilometers), even near its epicenter, only a few miles from the sparsely populated Cariaco Peninsula, which stretched to the eastern Caribbean, it seemed to cause only limited damage. A similarly large quake in the same area killed dozens of people in 1997.

Seismologist Lucy Jones, a research associate at the California Institute of Technology, said the considerable depth of the earthquake probably prevented a tragedy

"Shaking dies off remotely," she said, adding that the depth of the earthquake Bebens means that there will probably be fewer aftershocks.

The quake was as far away as Colombia's capital Bogata.

In Cumana, the largest city near the earthquake center, supermarket shelves collapsed. In a shopping mall, a panicked woman fell onto an escalator and injured herself.

In Caracas, concrete fell from an unfinished office building.

The quake also caused damage in Trinidad, which reported severe shocks. Power outages were also reported in Trinidad. People ran into the street and gasped as large glass panes broke in a supermarket and the falling concrete smashed several cars. The quake also broke walls and thousands of goods fell off the supermarket shelves.

No injuries or deaths were reported immediately.

The earthquake was also reported in Guyana, Barbados and Grenada


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