Venezuelan government denies responsibility for death toll

Venezuela landslide kills at least 39 people, over 50 missing after violent earthquake

This is a developing story and the situation is very fluid and may change as events unfold. Please check back at the top and refresh as necessary.

When a violent 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Venezuela on Tuesday, killing at least 61 people and injuring many more, there were conflicting reports of the death toll.

The local government of Venezuela’s state of Falcón confirmed that 61 dead, mostly from the earthquake itself, while another 60 people were missing or injured, some being reported in serious condition. However, the National Agency for Disaster Risk Reduction, the agency in charge of the risk management for natural disasters in the country, told Reuters it believes the death toll has been reduced and is likely at 59, as the reports of casualties coming in are consistent.

The agency said on twitter that it received over 500 reports of injuries – up from just over 100.

A report from Reuters and other outlets identified at least 38 of the missing as people who had not reported at all. Reuters, citing Venezuela’s Interior Ministry and the state government of Falcón, said that some of the missing are believed to be in hiding, in the mountains or have been taken away by gangs looking to sell them as slaves.

The Venezuelan government has denied any responsibility for the disappearance of the missing persons.

This story is developing. There are conflicting reports of the death toll and a few names have been changed. All of the details that we have are based on reports from local journalists and those that were picked up by our own reporters. We will update as things develop or new information becomes available. We will continue to add details as we have them.

The incident began at around 6:30pm local time when the earthquake struck, according to the Reuters.

Reuters has been on the ground in the tragedy zone and was able to report this morning on the death toll and injuries.

The earthquake, which was felt as far away as Caracas, hit at a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles), Reuters reports.

A police statement

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