Greek Tourist Island 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake

A strong earthquake off a western Greek tourist island early Friday morning was felt as far away as Athens, but no major damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The main harbor for the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea was damaged though it was still functional, civil protection agency press spokesman Spyros Georgiou said. Power was lost in the island capital and main town, also called Zakynthos, but no major damage was reported there.

“We’re checking out the villages on the island, where there are several older buildings,” he told The Associated Press. “The lack of electricity is a problem, but technicians are trying to restore power.”

The fire service said rockfalls were reported in another part of the island, and part of a church wall collapsed on the mainland town of Pyrgos, in the southern Peloponnese area. A couple of people were treated for minor injuries.

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A 6.8 earthquake is listed by the USGS as “very strong” with the potential for “moderate” damage.

The scientific agency claimed as many as 19.3 million people could have felt the earthquake, including 54,000 people who may have experienced “strong” to “very strong” shaking.

The USGS said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction.

“Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localised.”

Greece lies in one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions, and thousands of quakes are recorded every year.


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