Monday, 16 December, 2019

Athens residents flee buildings as strong natural disaster hits Greek capital

People stand on street corners in the Kolonaki neighborhood in central Athens after the quake struck the area on Friday People stand on street corners in the Kolonaki neighborhood in central Athens after the quake struck the area on Friday
Deanna Wagner | 19 July, 2019, 17:14

A strong, shallow 5.1-magnitude quake has jolted Athens, knocking out phone connections and causing power outages and minor damage, as anxious residents rushed into the streets.

Witnesses said people ran out into the street and evacuated tall buildings during the shaking.

Otherwise, there was no reported serious damage or injuries immediately after the quake.

That magnitude 6 quake left 143 people dead and tens of thousands of buildings damaged.

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

Seismologists say the quake was around 13km (8 miles) from the surface, and its proximity was the reason why it was felt strongly.

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The Athens Institute of Geodynamics gave the natural disaster a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 but the U.S. "I urge members of the public to remains calm, in Greece we are well acquainted with earthquakes", he said.

A police officer stands on a street next to a damaged auto following an quake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. "But we need more time and data to have a clear picture".

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

The quake is the first to hit the Greek capital since 1999.

Earthquakes are common in Greece and neighboring Turkey.