A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Tuesday near Yaguaraparo, off the northeastern coast of Venezuela, according to the US Geological Survey.
Stefano Pozzebon, a journalist in Caracas, told CNN he felt shaking for at least one minute, and a seven-floor building he was in was evacuated.
No damage and no tsunami warning were immediately reported.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Néstor Luis Reverol asked for people to remain calm on his official Twitter account.
Irald Cabrera, a translator for a tour company in Güiria, further east on the northern coast, told CNN that the earthquake lasted about a minute, with three aftershocks shortly after. The city is 43 miles from the epicenter of the quake.
Cabrera, 34, said he is used to seismic activity, but this was different.
"This one was strong, and we were afraid," he said.
The USGS said the quake had a depth of 76.5 miles (123.2 km).
It was felt as far away as Caracas, about 375 miles west.