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Earthquake rocks Greece

SKYROS, Greece -- A strong earthquake rocked an Aegean Sea island for the second time this week, according to the Greek Geodynamic Institute.

Tremors by the 5.7-magnitude quake struck at 3:21 a.m. local time in Skyros and were centred 130 kilometres (81 miles) north/northeast of Athens.

On Wednesday a quake measuring 4.4 was felt just north of the island, which has 3,000 permanent residents and an equal number of summer tourists.

Gerasimos Papadopoulos of Athens' Geodynamic Institute said: "It appears that we are witnessing a period of heightened activity in the Aegean Sea.

"There have been a series of strong earthquakes in that region this summer. However [Skyros] is in a seismically active area so, in itself, an event of this magnitude is no surprise."

There were no reports of injuries or deaths, though damage to the main water pipe had cut off the water supply to residents temporarily.

Police reported some damage to cars from crumbling walls, and officials have advised residents on the island to sleep outside in case the earthquake has destabilised buildings.

The National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colo. said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3.

GI seismologist George Stavrakakis said that aftershocks measured as high as 5.3.

Greece's public order minister and damage inspectors are due at the island on Thursday.

A major quake measuring 5.9 hit Greece in 1999, leaving 143 dead.

Greece is situated on an earthquake-active region of the world, falling on top of the boundary between the African and European tectonic plates.






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• The Global Earthquake Response Center
• Institute of Geodynamics
• Greek Government

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