Skip to main content
/europe

Strong earthquake jolts Greece

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Two people killed; several people trapped beneath collapsed buildings
  • Strong earthquake measuring 6.1 hit southern Greece
  • Epicenter was about 20 miles southwest of port city of Patras
  • Athens -- about 80 miles east of the epicenter -- felt the ground shake
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- A strong earthquake jolted western Greece on Sunday, killing at least two people and trapping several people beneath collapsed buildings, according to officials and state-run media.

art.quake.greece.ert.jpg

Rescuers remove a victim from a collapsed building after an earthquake struck Greece Sunday.

Another 37 were hurt as a result of the quake, many as they tried to flee their homes, Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said at a news conference in Athens.

The temblor struck around 3:30 p.m. [8:30 a.m. ET] and measured 6.1 in magnitude, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Athens' Geodynamic Institute registered the quake at 6.5 on the Richter scale -- which is no longer used by the USGS.

Its epicenter was located about 20 miles [32 kilometers] southwest of the Greek port city of Patras.

Pavlopoulos immediately dispatched a rescue and recovery team, which includes members of five government agencies, to assess the damage and needs in the quake-stricken Peloponnese region.

So far, most of those reported trapped have been removed -- including a 43-year-old villager who died after his house collapsed on him, the interior minister said. The other victim died of a heart attack while being rushed to the hospital, he said.

"This is a very serious quake, but there will be no evacuations," Pavlopoulos said. iReport.com: Are you there? Send pictures, video

Video showed rescuers pulling an injured man from a collapsed building, quickly outfitting him with a respirator mask and loading him onto a stretcher. Video Watch rescuers pull out a survivor from rubble »

It was "no surprise" that a strong quake hit in the area, where earthquakes are common, according to Geodynamic Institute director Gerasimos Papadopoulos.

People in Athens -- about 80 miles [129 kilometers] east of the epicenter-- felt the ground shake for as long as 20 seconds.

advertisement

Due to its fault lines, Greece is one of the most quake-prone countries in the European Union. A quake and aftershock both measuring over 6.4 in magnitude struck near Kalamata off the southern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in mid-February, causing no major damage or injuries.

The last major earthquake in Greece was in 1999 and left about 100 people dead.

Journalist Anthee Carassava contributed to this report

All About GreeceAthens

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2013 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.