5.3-magnitude earthquake strikes near Athens

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck 14 miles northwest from Athens but there were no reports of serious injuries.

Citizens in central Athens gather in an open area following an earthquake Friday. Photo by Pantelis Saitas

The earthquake caused some power outages in central Athens that occurred before 2:30 p.m., the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported. The epicenter was two miles from Magoula, Greece. The magnitude was confirmed by the Euro-Mediterranean Institute.

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas told public broadcaster ERT that two buildings collapsed in Attica. Some reported cracks in homes in Piraeus, Monastiraki and Egaleo, but no information on injuries or deaths.

The USGS reported that a 4.2 earthquake followed near the same area about an hour later.

Numerous buildings in central Athens were evacuated Friday afternoon as a precautionary measure.

Efthymios Lekkas, a seismology professor at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, told local journalists that the earthquake could be felt throughout central Greece, but researchers did not know yet if it started in same location as a deadly 1999 earthquake.

A 6.8 earthquake struck off Greece’s west coast last October near the island of Zakynthos. The epicenter for that earthquake was located 20 miles south of the island’s southern tip of Mouzaki. The October earthquake could be felt in Athens 175 miles away but no significant damage was reported on the island.

ByClyde Hughes