Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Strong quake shakes Venezuela; buildings evacuated in Caracas

Strong quake shakes Venezuela; buildings evacuated in Caracas

It was felt as far away as Caracas, some 300 miles to the west but caused no casualties or major damage because of its depth.

According to the US Geological Survey, which monitors natural disaster activity around the world, the quake was magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale, but hit at a depth of more than 123 km below the ground.

The USGS said the tremor occurred just after 5:30 pm (2130 GMT), with the epicenter close to the coast of the state of Sucre, at a depth of 123 kilometers.

The quake also cracked walls and thousands of goods fell off supermarket shelves.

Damage in Caracas was limited, but the quake did tilt the top five floors of an abandoned 45-story skyscraper known as the "Tower of David", Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said. A block away, children wearing surgical masks stretched their necks to peer at the 620-foot building after fleeing a building that housed a foundation for children suffering from cancer.

The United States Geological Survey informed that the quake's magnitude was 7.3.

The quake was felt as far away as Colombia's capital of Bogota, where authorities briefly closed the global airport to inspect the runway for damage.

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Footage captured at the scene shows people shouting "quake" as Cabello and others looked side-to-side for cover. "It's the Bolivarian revolution speaking to the world", Cabello thundered to applause.

One person wrote on Twitter that they felt the effects of the quake in the Caribbean country of Grenada, calling it, "the scariest moment of my life".

"This one was strong, and we were afraid", he said.

The surrounding area was evacuated.

The moves aims to stave off rampant inflation of more than 1 million percent a year, though many predict the move is unlikely to provide a quick fix. "These situations require prudence".

"The distance and depth can account for why there was not extensive damage", he said.

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