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Magnitude 7.3 quake rocks Venezuela

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CARACAS — A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.3, the largest to strike the country since 1900, has rattled Yaguaraparo area, located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela, on Tuesday.

The US Pacific Tsunami Centre said the quake could cause tsunami waves along the coast near the epicentre, 23 miles (37 km) off Carupano. But these warnings were lifted just after 6pm local time.

A tsunami warning has been issued after major earthquake rocked Venezuela’s northern coast with powerful shocks being felt across the Caribbean.

It was centred near the town of Carupano but felt as far as neighbouring Colombia and nearby island nations like Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia.

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Dramatic images showed supermarket shelves come crashing down in Cumana, the biggest city near the quake’s centre, with a shopping centre’s escalator collapsing over the tremors.

The quake, that lasted for a over a minute, resulted in immediate evacuation of all high-rise buildings.

The quake was felt as far away as Colombia’s capital of Bogota, where authorities briefly closed the international airport to inspect for runway damage.

The United States Geological Survey(USGS) said the earthquake had a depth of 123.2 km, and was felt as far away as Caracas.

No casualties have been reported.

Agencies

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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

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Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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