Caracas - A strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake sent people rushing into the streets from shaking buildings across Venezuela on Saturday and knocked out power in some parts of the oil exporting nation.
The head of Venezuela's emergency services, Luis Diaz Curbelo told Reuters the quake, which hit at about 3:40 p.m. local time/2010 GMT, was felt across the country.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred 23 miles north-northeast of Puerto Cabello, one of the OPEC nation's main oil ports. The epicenter was below the sea at a depth of 6.2 miles.
Television reported smaller aftershocks in some regions.
One of Venezuela's main oil refineries, El Palito, and a petrochemicals complex are located in the region where the tremor was felt most strongly.
The quake also hit the country's oil heartland of Zulia, where buildings wobbled in state capital Maracaibo. But there were no initial reports of damage to oil installations.