Magnitude 5.6 quake shakes Venezuela

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake has hit Venezuela near the small Caribbean coastal town of Carupano, the United States Geological Survey says.

The quake, at a relatively shallow depth of 12 kilometres, was centred about 39 km south-west of Carupano and was felt in Puerto La Cruz, where state oil company PDVSA has a refinery.

PDVSA said it had no immediate reports of damage.

“Everyone felt it. People are very alarmed,” a resident of Puerto La Cruz, Maria de los Angeles Rondon, said by telephone.

Radio reports said the tremor was felt in a wide area stretching to the Caribbean island of Margarita, a popular holiday destination for European tourists.

Initial USGS reports had put the quake at 5.7 magnitude.

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