January 23, 2006

Powerful quake in Colombia jungle, no victims yet

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake shook a
sparsely populated area of central and northwest Colombia on
Monday although there were no immediate reports of victims or
damage, Colombian authorities said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6 quake
struck at 3.50 p.m. local time/2050 GMT, with an epicenter in
the town of Jurado in the northern jungle province of Choco
near Colombia's border with Panama.

Its effect was felt in tall buildings in the distant cities
of Medellin and Bogota but no damage was immediately reported,
the Colombian government's National Seismological Network said.

It added that the quake measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale
-- which means it released a similar amount of energy to a
hydrogen bomb.

The epicenter was located 160 miles west northwest of
Medellin at a depth of 16 miles, the USGS said.

An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale killed
1,230 people in Colombia's coffee-growing region in 1999.