| Strong earthquake rocks southern Greece
| Sunday, January 6, 2008
|ATHENS, Greece: A strong earthquake rattled southern Greece early Sunday and was felt in the capital, Athens. No injuries were reported.
Police said minor damage had occurred to homes in the southern Peloponnese region.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake at 7:14 a.m. had a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 and was centered about 80 miles southwest of Athens.
The institute's director, Giorgos Stavrakakis, said the earthquake was felt across most of the country.
"But it occurred deep underground ... and is unlikely to pose any danger to the public," he said. "People should remain calm."
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.1.
The quake occurred between the southern town of Leonidio and the city of Sparta.
"We have no reports of serious damage. None at all. All we've heard is that plaster has come loose in several old houses," Leonidio's mayor, Dimitris Tsigounis, said. "People ran out of their homes ... Everyone is trying to stay as calm as possible."
"We are still gathering data, but believe there is no cause for particular concern," said seismologist Giorgos Drakatos of the Athens institute.
"Quakes of this depth — 35 to 45 miles underground — are typically felt far away and are followed by low aftershock activity."
Earthquakes are common in Greece and neighboring Turkey, which are both riddled with fault lines.
In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake near Athens killed 143 people and left thousands more homeless.
|posted by Moderator Londen time 11:46 AM