Earthquake causes panic in Bogota
A 5.5 magnitude earthquake caused panic amid thousands of residents in the Colombian capital, Bogota, on Saturday, dpa reported.
There were no immediate reports of large-scale damages or injuries from the quake, with an epicentre some 55 kilometres south-east of Bogota. Several buildings suffered cracks and telephone service was interrupted, Interior Minister Carlos Holguin said.
In Bogota and nearby cities in central Colombia, residents ran outside as the earth shook. The earthquake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 4 kilometres, making its effects more easily felt, authorities said.
President Alvaro Uribe was surprised by the quake at a meeting in the city of Florida in the south-western Valle del Cauca province, and the gathering was interrupted, reports said.
Colombia lies in a region prone to earthquakes, where the Nazca plate and the South American plate come together. In 1999, 1,200 people died in a quake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale.