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Powerful quake hits near Greek island

  • Story Highlights
  • A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hits near the Greek island of Crete
  • 6.7 quake can cause major damage, especially in areas of poor construction
  • No immediate word on casualties or damage
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(CNN) -- A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit near the Greek island of Crete on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It struck at 12:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. ET), the USGS said. It was centered about 80 miles (130 kilometers) off the city of Iraklion on Crete, the USGS said.

An earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude is capable of causing significant damage, especially in areas of poor construction.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

A staff member at Iraklion Airport told CNN they didn't feel the earthquake. Similar reports came from staff members at hotels just outside Iraklion and in western Crete.

A spokesman at the Greek Ministry of Health in Athens, 450 kilometers (280 miles) from the epicenter, also said he didn't feel the quake.

David Booth, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey, explained that the earthquake happened deep below the sea, leading to little risk of tsunami and reducing the likelihood that people would feel tremors.

-- CNN's Claudia Rebaza and Krsna Harilela in London, England, contributed to this report.

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