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News > Latin America

Large Earthquake Off Northern Venezuelan Coast

  • Large Earthquake Off Northern Venezuelan Coast

    | Photo: USGS

Published 21 August 2018

According to the Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research, the quake registered at 6.9 on the Richter Scale and left parts of Trinidad and Tobago without electricity. 

The Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research has put out information stating that the earthquake registered 6.9 in the Richter Scale. 

The Bolivarian government has activated all the risk management, damage assessment and needs update teams after the 6.9 magnitude earthquake registered at 5:30 in the afternoon of this Tuesday, which was felt in a large part of Venezuela and up to moment without reports of victims.

The seismic movement was felt around 5:31 in the afternoon, and according to the agency the epicenter was in the municipality of Cajigal de la Península de Paria, in Sucre state, in the east of the country. 

The quake was felt throughout most of the Venezuelan coast and in neighboring countries in the Caribbean like Trinidad and Tobago. According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, the quake measured 6.8 in the Richter Scale and struck at latitude 10.51 N, longitude 62.76 W, at a depth of 73 km in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The country's Minister of Communication, Stuart Young said in a national address that its tsunami warning has been called off, but electricity remains down in parts of the two islands, including the capital, Port-of-Spain. The Minister of Police asked that all officers come out to help in clean up efforts. There are reports of damaged buildings throughout the country.

The quake occurred 0.1 kilometers deep, 19 kilometers from the town of Yaguaraparo. The Interior and Justice Minister, Néstor Reverol, reported that no victims have been reported after the earthquake.


Users in social networks have reported that they felt the earthquake in several states of the country, among them Sucre, Carabobo, Lara, Bolívar, Anzoátegui, Valencia and Portuguesa.

An official statement released by The Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research partly states:

"The Venezuelan Foundation for Seismological Research (Funvisis), entity attached to the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education, Science and Technology (Mppeuct), informs the population that today August 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm local time an earthquake was recorded of magnitude 6.3 to 19 km southeast of Yaguaraparo, and with a depth of 0.1 km.

Funvisis recommends keeping calm since acts of this nature are normal in Venezuela since we live in a seismic country. We are in an important and complex geodynamic context due to the interaction between the Caribbean plate and the South American plate, which originates seismic activity in the national territory.

The zone of greatest seismic activity in our country corresponds to a strip of about 100 km wide, defined along the mountain systems of the Andes, the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera Oriental, places in which the main systems of seismogenic failures of the country: Boconó, San Sebastián and El Pilar; to which other minor active systems such as Oca-Ancón, Valera, La Victoria and Urica are added.

Funvisis urges the Venezuelan population to promote a seismic culture with the aim of reducing the vulnerability of our buildings and structures, since earthquakes are events that occur without prior notice, which is why we must be prepared to face them."

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