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Earthquake rocks Venezuela and the Caribbean

PICTURED: This concrete structure at Reform Village, south Trinidad reportedly collapsed during the earthquake

AN EARTHQUAKE has struck Venezuela’s northern coast with powerful shocks being felt across the Caribbean.

The 7.3 magnitude quake, the largest to strike the country since 1900, sent people rushing out into the streets on Tuesday (Aug 21).

It was centred near the town of Carupano but felt as far as neighbouring countries Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia.

The US Pacific Tsunami Centre said the quake could cause tsunami waves along the coast near the epicentre, 23 miles (37 km) off Carupano. These warnings were lifted just after 6pm local time.

Dramatic images shared across social media showed supermarket shelves crashing down in Cumana, with a shopping centre’s escalator collapsing over the tremors. Power outages were also reported across nearby Trinidad.

In Trinidad and Tobago, there were also initial reports of some cracks to buildings, cars damaged when concrete debris fell on them, and loss of electricity.

Traffic jams formed on highways in Port of Spain, but there were no immediate reports of casualties there either.

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said disaster relief teams had been activated but so far there were no reports of fatalities.

"We ask for the greatest patience and tranquillity from the Venezuelan people," he said in a televised address. "These situations require prudence."

This story will be updated...

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