Strong quake rocks northern Venezuela coast; buildings evacuated in capital

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People evacuate an office building after an earthquake in Caracas, Venezuela August 21, 2018. (REUTERS)
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A woman reacts after an earthquake in Caracas, Venezuela August 21, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 August 2018
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Strong quake rocks northern Venezuela coast; buildings evacuated in capital

CARACAS: A major earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck the northern coast of Venezuela on Tuesday and shook buildings as far away as the capital, Caracas, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake was centered near the town of Carupano, an area of poor fishing communities and was felt as far away as neighboring Colombia to the east and nearby island nations like Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia, to the west and north.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in an Internet broadcast on Tuesday.
The US Pacific Tsunami Center said the quake could cause small tsunami waves along the coast near the epicenter, 23 miles (37 km) southwest of the town of Carupano.
USGS Geophysicist Jessica Turner said the quake’s depth, 76.5 miles (123.11 km) below the surface, would dampen some of the shaking but not enough to prevent damage.
“A 7.3 magnitude quake is going to cause some damage particularly as in this area structures are vulnerable. The Earth is able to absorb some of the energy, but a 7.3 quake produces a lot of energy,” she said by telephone.
Turner said the quake’s depth caused the quake to be felt as far away such as in Caracas, where witnesses said buildings were shaken. “I feel like I’m about to faint. I’m shaking. It was long,” said telemarketing worker Sheny Fuentes, 22, speaking outside her work building in eastern Caracas. “I’m relieved that it doesn’t seem like damage was that bad. We would have been even more affected (given Venezuela’s economic crisis) — there are already people eating from the garbage and buildings aren’t well made,” she told Reuters. 


Indian sailor rescued from yacht stranded off Australian coast

Updated 24 September 2018
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Indian sailor rescued from yacht stranded off Australian coast

  • The sailor, Abhilash Tomy, called for emergency assistance on Saturday after the yacht was badly damaged in a storm
  • He became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013

SYDNEY: An Indian sailor injured in a solo round-the-world race has been rescued, the Indian Navy said on Monday, after Australian authorities said a French ship was nearing his storm-damaged yacht off Australia’s west coast.
The sailor, Abhilash Tomy, called for emergency assistance on Saturday after the yacht was badly damaged in a storm about 3,500 kilometers west of Australia, leaving him with severe back injuries.
“Tomy rescued safely,” the Indian Navy said on Twitter, without giving further details.
Earlier, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue, had said it expected a French fisheries patrol vessel to reach Tomy’s yacht as soon as 0700 GMT.
“All indications are the vessel is upright and floating high in the water but at any moment, a wave could push one of the damaged masts into the vessel and compromise its integrity,” Phil Gaden, a search and rescue official, told reporters in Canberra, the Australian capital.
The mast hanging precariously over the yacht stoked fears it could become dislodged and damage the watertight body of the boat, Gaden added.
Despite the nearness of the French ship, Gaden had cautioned that rescuers might not be able to evacuate Tomy because of the damage to his yacht, in which case an Australian naval boat, positioned further away, might have had to undertake the rescue.
Tomy, whose website says he became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013, was a contestant in the grueling 48,000-kilometer Golden Globe Race.


The Indian-built yacht, ‘Thuriya’, left the seaside town of Les Sables-d’Olonne in western France on July 1 in the roundtrip race.
Participant crafts, similar to those used 50 years ago in the first such race, which features a solo circumnavigation of the globe, are barred from using modern technology, except for their communications gear.