Venezuela was hit by its most powerful earthquake since 1900 on Tuesday night, adding to the turmoil wreaked by the country's economic crisis.
Cars were flattened by collapsing walls, supermarket shelves completely wiped out and gaping holes in the ground emerged all over the country as the tremors ripped through its major cities.
The earthquake's epicenter shook eastern Venezuela but also caused problems in Colombia and Trinidad, causing buildings to be evacuated as far away as Bogata.
The quake was placed at a 7.3 magnitude with its epicentre being 13 miles southwest of Irapa in the north of Venezuela, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Experts have long warned that Venezuela's cash-strapped government is ill-prepared to deal with a major natural disaster.
Hospitals have scant supplies, many ambulances are grounded and food and water are among goods that have disappeared in a country suffering from inflation estimated by the International Monetary Fund to reach 1 million percent this year.
In the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, office workers evacuated buildings and people fled homes in fear.
Residents and office workers in Caracas fled from their buildings and homes.
At a shopping center, a woman caught in the panic of people rushing out of the building fell on an escalator and injured herself.
In downtown Caracas, concrete from the unfinished Tower of David office building fell to the sidewalk, creating a potentially lethal hazard.
A block away, children wearing surgical masks stretched their neck toward the 620-foot building after having fled a nearby foundation for poor children suffering from cancer.
"We felt something strong and they told everyone to run,’ said Marisela Lopez, who was at the foundation with her 7-year-old daughter when the quake struck.
Venezuelan state media caught the confusion on camera as Diosdado Cabello, the head of the all-powerful constitutional assembly, was delivering a speech at a march.
Footage captured at the scene shows people shouting 'quake' as Cabello and others looked side-to-side for cover.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said that so far there were no reports of fatalities.
Shocks from the earthquake were felt as far away as Colombia's capital Bogotá, where authorities briefly closed the international airport to inspect for runway damage.
While videos from Trinidad showed terrified customers leaving stores as products fell from shelves.
The earthquake struck at 5:31pm local time on Tuesday and was 76 miles deep.