6.3-magnitude quake jolts Venezuela

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Caracas, Aug 22 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale has rocked Venezuela’s northeast coast. There were, however, no immediate reports of casualties.

The Venezuelan Seismological Research Foundation (Funvisis) said the quake occurred on Tuesday evening at 5.31 p.m. with the epicentre located 19 km southeast of the town of Yaguaraparo, in Sucre state, Xinhua news agency reported.

“No victims have been reported as yet,” Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a televised address, adding officials were monitoring the situation to assess any damage.

“We are calling for the utmost calm and patience,” Reverol said.

The quake was felt in surrounding regions, including the states of Nueva Esparta, Monagas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Aragua and Carabobo, and the capital Caracas, he said.

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The central government was in contact with state governors to coordinate monitoring efforts, he added.

According to the US Geological Survey, which monitors earthquake 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 quake was felt in neighbouring Colombia, Caracol News agency reported.

–IANS

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