5.1 magnitude natural disaster hits near Greek capital of Athens, aftershock follows

Illustrative

A strong natural disaster shook the Greek capital Athens on Friday, sending people rushing out of buildings and into the street.

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.

Athenians ran out into the streets and evacuated tall buildings as the tremor shook the capital for some 15 seconds.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said 4.0 million inhabitants could potentially feel the quake.

The quake caused limited power cuts and communication problems around the capital; the fire brigade received calls about people trapped in lifts.

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Residents posted footage on social media of the impact of the quake. Other buildings were also damaged.

The head of the anti-quake protection agency, Efthymios Lekkas, told Greeks to remain calm, BBC News reported.

In 1999, the area of the epicenter, at the foot of Mount Parnitha, produced a 5.9 magnitude natural disaster that killed 143 people.

"It had a very shallow depth and that's why it was felt so strongly", he said. "The capital's buildings are built to withstand a much stronger natural disaster", he said.

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

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