5.1-magnitude earthquake rattles Athens; no reports of injuries
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5.1-magnitude earthquake rattles Athens; no reports of injuries

Quake, which knocks out cellphone connections in capital, sends residents fleeing into streets

Illustrative photo of Athens (photo credit: CC BY-SA Titanas, Flickr)
Illustrative photo of Athens (photo credit: CC BY-SA Titanas, Flickr)

A strong earthquake jolted Athens on Friday, knocking out phone and cellphone service, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The shock on Friday was caught live in the studios of state broadcaster ERT.

According to the Greek geodynamic institute, it was a 5.1-magnitude quake with an epicenter 23 kilometers (14 miles) northwest of Athens and was followed by aftershocks.

The fire department has so far rescued over a dozen people trapped in elevators in the capital, state TV ERT said.

The quake struck at around 1100 GMT, sending worried residents and office staff onto the street.

News media have also reported electricity outages but internet connections were still operating.

Greece lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.

In July 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake killed two people on the island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.

In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake left 143 people dead in Athens and the region northwest of the capital.

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