ATHENS: A magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the Greek capital Athens on Friday, sending people running from buildings in panic, witnesses said.
The European Earthquake Monitoring Centre recorded the quake’s epicentre at 22 km (14 miles) northwest of the city. Its website quoted a witness as saying the quake was “strong but fortunately not very long”.
Reuters correspondents saw people evacuating tall buildings in the sprawling city, and hundreds crammed into Athens’s central Syntagma Square. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Seismologist Manolis Skordilis told Greece’s Star TV: “The earthquake was close to the surface, which is why it was felt so much.”
A fire brigade official said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, although there had been calls asking for help in rescuing people trapped in elevators.
Electricity and phone connections were intermittent.
In 1999, the area of the epicentre, at the foot of Mount Parnitha, produced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that killed 143 people.