6.6 magnitude earthquake sparks panic in Colombia and Panama after strong aftershocks | Global |: news

Locals panicked as strong tremors were felt in several parts of Colombia and Panama. Several residents rushed outside as night fell to protect themselves from any debris and to inspect the damage to their property.

Footage shared by Twitter users showed frantic scenes as people ran outside while young voices could be heard screaming and dogs barking.

Another video showed people walking around the rubble, while Colombian publication Semana reported that some saw entire walls of their homes destroyed.

Video from the city of Necoclí in Antioquia region also showed trees swaying as locals gathered in the streets, the publication added.

The first earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.6, was recorded on Wednesday night and the epicenter was located in the Caribbean Sea, about 41 km from the town of Akandi in the northwestern Choco region of Colombia.

The Geological Survey of Colombia (SGC) confirmed that the seismic event occurred at 3.05am BST (10.05pm local time).

The US Geological Survey (USGS) added that the epicenter of the earthquake was located at a depth of 10 km.

About 10 minutes later, the first aftershock occurred, also centered in the Caribbean Sea, this time 34 km from Akandi.

This earthquake, which was registered at 3:14 am (10:14 pm local time), had a magnitude of 4.9.

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Two more aftershocks followed within an hour, with one of magnitude 3.6 at 3:23 (10:23 p.m. local time), 33 minutes before the fourth quake of magnitude 3.1.

Seismic activity was felt strongly in several areas of the cities of Monterrey, Córdoba and Medellin, although officials in the latter said no damage was immediately reported.

People living in Bucaramanga and the Colombian capital Bogota also took to Twitter to share their concerns after the tremors.

Officials are currently assessing the damage to determine the number of casualties.

While parts of Panama, including areas of its capital, also felt the tremors, the country’s civil defense agency said there were no immediate reports of damage.

However, officials added that they would continue to “monitor” the situation.

Immediately after the earthquake, the National Emergency Operations Center of Panama ruled out the possibility of a tsunami.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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