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Moderate quake shakes western Venezuela

world Updated: Nov 27, 2009 20:22 IST

AFP
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A moderate 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit western Venezuela early Friday, damaging some homes but causing no known casualties, seismological officials said.

The quake, some 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) deep, hit at 3:46 am (0816 GMT) in the western state of Lara, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Venezuelan Foundation for Seismological Research (FUNVISIS) chief Francisco Garces told Union Radio the quake was centered in the town of Siquisique in the northern part of the state and was followed by eight aftershocks.

Civil defense officials reported only material damage and no casualties.

"We have some preliminary reports that indicate some damage to some homes" in Siquisique, Garces said, adding that the tremor and its aftershocks were "superficial."

The USGS said it was based some 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Barquisimeto.