By Ben Tavener
One person is dead and four others injured after a magnitude-5.3 earthquake struck Venezuela on Saturday, according to local media.
Authorities report a government worker was killed when a landslide caused rocks to fall onto a car. Four others in the vehicle suffered minor injuries, Merida Gov. Alexis Ramirez told reporters.
He later added on social media that a local highway that susceptible to landslides and rock falls had been closed.
At least three major aftershocks have been reported since the quake shook a mountainous area of Venezuela's western Merida state shortly before 2:30 a.m. (0700 GMT) local time at a depth of 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The epicenter was recorded 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) south-southeast of the popular tourist city of Lagunillas.
Thirty buildings sustained damage, including a historic religious temple, as authorities conduct structural assessments.
Seismologists have recorded at least 19 tremors since the main quake.
Broadcaster Telesur said the president of the government's seismology investigation agency described the events as "natural in Venezuela as it is a seismically-active country" and appealed to locals to remain calm.
A 100-kilometer-wide strip of the Andes mountain range extends into west Venezuela from neighboring Colombia, and is responsible for most of the country's earthquakes, the broadcaster added.
The USGS describes the region as of "extensive [tectonic] diversity and complexity ... involving no fewer than four major plates", including the Caribbean plate.