January 15, 2010 / 6:23 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Magnitude 5.6 quake shakes Venezuela coast town

(Adds PDVSA comment, details)

CARACAS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Venezuela near the small Caribbean coastal town of Carupano, the United States Geological Survey said on Friday.

The quake, at a relatively shallow depth of 7.3 miles (12 km), was centered about 24 miles (39 km) southwest 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, told Reuters 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. (Editing by John O‘Callaghan)

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