Earthquake hits near Greek capital

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A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Greece on Friday causing strong shaking in the capital Athens.

The Institute of Geodynamics in Athens said the quake struck around 2:13 pm local time, forcing Athenians to run out into the streets with brief problems in telecommunications.

There were no reports of serious injuries, but several aftershocks have been felt.

Stelios Petsas, spokesman for the Greek government, said in a televised statement that the strongest aftershock hit 23km northwest of Athens at 14:13 pm (11:13 GMT).

Petsas said one uninhabited building and an old structure had collapsed, adding that the fire department had received calls to help evacuate people stuck in lifts.

Electricity was restored to Peristeri and Haidari, located northwest of Athens, while in the centre of Athens there were problems in telecommunications.

The emergency services said that two women were slightly injured and that many people reported having panic attacks.

The last major earthquake to hit Athens was a 6.0 magnitude quake in 1999, which caused extensive damage and killed over 140 people.

 




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