Strong 6.8 magnitude quake strikes off Greece

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ATHENS, Oct 26, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake
struck off Greece on Friday and was felt strongly in the tourist hotspot
island of Zante, monitoring agencies said.

Electricity in the main town, also called Zante, was down while the fire
service reported damage to the road network caused by landslides.

It hit off the southern part of the island, also known as Zakynthos, in the
Ionian Sea at 1.50 am (2250 GMT Thursday), according to the US Geological
Survey (USGS).

“There has been no damage to houses, according to the first reports,” a
spokesperson for the fire service told AFP.

A 12th century Byzantine monument on a small island near Zante has been
severely damaged, local media reported.

The earthquake was also felt on mainland Greece, including in the western
town of Pyrgos.

USGS said the quake, which struck at a depth of 16.6 kilometres (10 miles),
was preceded by a shake of 5.0 and followed by a series of smaller
aftershocks.

It said there was a low likelihood of casualties.

The Athens earthquake observatory said the tremor was felt strongly in
Zante, a popular holiday destination with its own international airport.

Greece lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but
they rarely cause casualties.

However, in July 2017 a magnitude 6.7 earthquake killed two people on the
island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.

Zante island experienced a major earthquake in 1953 of 6.4, killing
hundreds of victims and injuring thousands, leaving the island in ruins.