Powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake shakes Caribbean causing damage from Trinidad to Venezuela – but tsunami alert is lifted

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

Earthquake has shaken eastern Venezuela, causing buildings to be evacuated
Tsunami is ‘possible’ within nearly 200 miles of the earthquake epicentre
Coastal areas including Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago have been put on alert

21 August 2018

A powerful earthquake has rocked the Carribean and South America, as the first images of the devastation begin to emerge.

A tremor has shaken eastern Venezuela through to Colombia and Trinidad, causing buildings to be evacuated in Caracas and Bogata.

Cars have been flattened by collapsing walls, supermarket shelves have been completely wiped out and gaping holes in the ground have begun to emerge in Trinidad.

The quake has been placed at a 7.3 magnitude with its epicentre being 13 miles southwest of Irapa, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami was possible within nearly 200 miles of the earthquake epicentre, which could hit Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, although the warnings were lifted at 6.12pm local time.

Shocks from the earthquake were felt as far away as Colombia’s capital Bogotá while videos of Trinidad showed terrified customers leaving stores as products fell from shelves.

In the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, office workers evacuated buildings and people fled homes in fear.

The earthquake struck at 5:31pm local time on Tuesday and was 76 miles deep.

Residents and office workers in Caracas fled from their buildings and homes.

A witness in Cumana, the biggest city near to the epicentre, said there were initial reports of several injuries at a shopping centre where an escalator fell. They added there were no other immediate signs of damage in the vicinity.

In downtown Caracas, concrete from the unfinished Tower of David office building fell to the sidewalk, creating a potentially lethal hazrd.

Venezuelan state media caught the confusion on camera as Diosdado Cabello, the head of the all-powerful constitutional assembly, was delivering a speech at a march.

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