Venezuelan quake kills 39 people and leaves 50 missing, military says

Venezuela landslide kills at least 39 people, over 50 missing

A Venezuelan landslide has killed at least 39 people and left at least 50 missing, authorities said, as hundreds of people fled into the mountains after the disaster.

Authorities said the landslides occured in the Lara State, close to the border with Colombia, on Saturday. It is the latest in a string of earthquakes to have hit the South American country in recent months.

Officials said that the missing included children and adults, including the elderly.

The latest quake, the strongest to hit the country in nearly a decade, jolted the nation with its magnitude of 4.6 on Saturday and killed at least 25 people.

A few minutes after the massive quake, the United States embassy in Caracas was attacked, while another quake struck the nearby city of Maracaibo.

The quake was followed by a massive landslide, which killed at least three people in Maracaibo and five in the nearby city of Vargas, said local officials.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in Vargas, where more than 6,000 people had to evacuate on Saturday morning, as the quake hit.

Rescuers were searching for at least 37 people who were still missing, including three children, according to the military.

The bodies of the three children were found after the disaster, a senior military official told reporters in Vargas. “It was a massive landslide,” he said, adding that the children were believed to be under the rubble.

Rescuers later pulled three others from the rubble in Vargas. Another nine children were reported missing there, military officials said on Twitter.

Among the dead were four members of the same family – all of them from Caracas – who were killed in the collapse of their home. The collapse occurred in Caracas at around 2:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT).

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known, but a spokesman from the Public Safety Ministry, Guillermo Gonzalez, said it appeared that the building was not properly stabilized.

President Nicolas Maduro said that at least 26 people were killed in the two earthquakes and that seven others were killed in a fire that broke out in the capital, Caracas, and damaged several streets and buildings, which caused

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