A strong earthquake followed quickly by a strong aftershock shook Colombia’s capital and other major cities Thursday, sending panicked residents out onto the streets and damaging Colombia’s congressional chamber. At least one person was reported killed.
The midday quakes were both centered about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Bogota, with the first one registering a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 and the aftershock registering a preliminary magnitude of 5.7, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake rattled Colombia later Thursday evening.
People in the capital city of 11 million felt buildings and floors rumble, and alarms blared as throngs of residents left their homes and gathered outside.
“Everything was moving, and people came out screaming, ‘It’s shaking, it’s shaking!’,” Bogota resident Gonzalo Martin said. “A lot of people started to rush out onto the street because of the tremor.”
Paula Henao, the Bogota fire department’s deputy director of operations, said one person died when they panicked and jumped from the seventh floor of a building.
The quake trapped some residents in elevators, and prompted scores of emergency calls to firefighters, Henao said.
A patch of ornate stonework from the ceiling at Colombia’s House of Representatives in Bogota fell onto the seating area for lawmakers, according to video posted on an official congressional account on X, formerly known as Twitter. The chamber was unoccupied at the time, and nobody there was hurt there.
The earthquake was also felt in other big cities like Medellín and Cali.
Videos on social media showed furniture shaking and chandeliers swinging during the quake.