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5.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Athens, Causing Minor Damages

Several buildings were evacuated in central Athens on Friday, and people are standing in the streets

According to the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens, an earthquake hit near the Greek capital of Athens, at 14:13 local time on Friday.

The magnitude of the quake was 5.1 on the Richter scale (previously reported to be 5.0 and 5.3).

The epicenter was located 23 kilometers (14 miles) northwest of Athens and had a focal depth of 12 kilometers.

Some problems in regard to power and telecommunications have already been reported in some suburbs of the Greek capital.

Office workers standing outside buildings after the temblor in Athens on Friday

As a precautionary measure, several buildings in central Athens have been evacuated and people are standing on the streets, waiting to be let back inside.

Ενημέρωση από τον Κυβερνητικό Εκπρόσωπο κ. Στέλιο Πέτσα για τη σεισμική δόνηση που έγινε αισθητή στην Αθήνα.

Posted by Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση on Friday, July 19, 2019

Speaking with Public Broadcaster ERT, Stelios Petsas, the government’s spokesperson, said that two buildings have collapsed in Attica. An old house in the area of Drapetsona and an uninhabited building in the area of Petralona.

Seismology professor Efthymios Lekkas told reporters that the quake was felt throughout Attica and central Greece, while seismologists are still investigating whether it originated in the same rift which caused the lethal 1999 earthquakes (measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale), or one of its offshoots.

According to initial reports, there are cracks in houses in Piraeus, Monastiraki and Egaleo, but no injuries or deaths have been reported so far.

Immediately after the earthquake, the fire brigade went on alert and a Super-puma helicopter was launched over Athens, together with a coordination helicopter, to patrol the western Attica region and report on any damage in the area.

Fire brigades and Greek police forces have been deployed in the area to assist the public.

A scheduled meeting between Citizen Protection Minister Michael Chrisochoidis and European Commissioner Christos Stylianides on Friday was cancelled due to the earthquake.

With information from AMNA

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