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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Earthquake shakes Greek island

House affected by quake
Officials reported only minor damage
A powerful undersea earthquake off the western Greek island of Lefkada has injured at least 20 people and caused some tourists and residents to flee to the mainland.

The earthquake which occurred deep in the seabed about 290 kilometres (175 miles) north-west of Athens at 0815 (0515 GMT) measured 6.4 on the Richter scale, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.

Early reports from the island said no serious damage had been caused.

However, the civil defence office was later quoted as saying some 30 houses had collapsed in the north of the island.

There were also reports of cracks in some roads and fallen lamp posts.

'Some panic'

Two Scots were treated in hospital after being hit by falling rocks as they walked along the island's cliffs.

Greece earthquake
Tom Steen, 46, suffered serious cuts and a broken leg while his 40-year-old wife Sylvia received serious head injuries.

A 31-year-old Czech man was thrown off his motorbike by the force.

The coastguard rescued two Italian tourists injured by fallen rocks at a remote beach.

Authorities also went to the help of four rock climbers who were shaken loose from a cliff and plunged into the sea.

None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

Vasilis Katopodis, the mayor of Karias - a village located in the centre of Lefkada - said the region was now returning to normal.

"We have some landslides and some minor damage to older stone buildings. Electricity is being restored and the roads have been cleared."

Antonis Kalogerakis, a civil defence official, said there "was some panic".

"It mostly scared tourists, who have not felt such intense things. There has been only minimal damage."

Neighbours rattled

Residents of neighbouring islands a few miles south of Lefkada, said they felt the quake too.

Cephalonia residents had been marking the 50th anniversary of a giant quake that all but destroyed the island in 1953, levelling all buildings and killing 476 people.

Greece lies on several large faults, including the Anatolian fault that stretches from eastern Turkey down to the centre of the country.

Minor quakes hit the central Greek city of Larisa on 9 June (measuring 5.4) and the Greek island of Evia, 70 kilometres north of Athens, on 18 June (measuring 4.9).

An earthquake measuring 6.4 killed 105 people in neighbouring Turkey - in the south-eastern area of Bingol - on 1 May.


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