Strong earthquake hits near Greece’s capital Athens

Strong earthquake hits near Greece’s capital Athens

Tremor causes people to run out of buildings and problems in telecommunications.

A strong earthquake has hit near the Greek capital, Athens, causing people to run out into the streets as well as brief problems in telecommunications.

Stelios Petsas, spokesman for the Greek government, said in a televised statement that the 5.1 magnitude tremor hit 23km northwest of Athens at 14:13pm (11:13 GMT) on Friday.

“There are no reports of serious injuries,” he said, urging people to stay calm.

Petsas said one uninhabited building and an old structure had collapsed, adding that the fire department had received calls to help evacuate people stuck in lifts.

The government spokesman said telecommunication networks were back in operation after brief problems due to overloading.

Local media also reported some power cuts in central Athens.

Witnesses in Athens said the earthquake was followed by several smaller aftershocks.