People run into streets as 5.3-magnitude earthquake hits Athens

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A strong earthquake has been felt in the Greek capital Athens, causing people to run out into the streets.

The 5.3-magnitude quake was felt 9km (5.6 miles) from Eleusis just after 2pm local time.

The quake caused power cuts across the capital. The fire brigade reported receiving calls about people trapped in lifts.

Authorities said there was no immediate word on injuries or damage.

Tourists in Syntagma Square, Athens
Tourists in Syntagma Square, Athens (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

She said: “I don’t think it was super serious, I’m not an Athens native and I’m from the UK so it shocked me and my family a lot – we never experience earthquakes.

“I was actually asleep at the time, so I was very scared initially.

“Everything seems normal, the apartment I’m in is hidden from the main street view, but no noticed damage.”

The Athens Institute of Geodynamics initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1 but the US Geological Survey has assessed it as 5.3-magnitude.

Greece Earthquake
The bell tower of Pantanassa church at Monastiraki square is damaged (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

She told PA: “It was scary. The whole building began to shake, with dust coming down from the ceiling and lights swinging.

“Everyone went quiet, I think a lot of people thought a plane had crashed because the building was rocking and there was a rumbling noise.

“It lasted about 15 seconds. Afterwards, everyone seemed a bit scared, but it went back to normal. I felt an aftershock at about 3.15pm, lasted about five seconds with chairs shaking.

“I haven’t heard anything from authorities. We talked to an air hostess who confirmed it was an earthquake, otherwise nothing from police.”

Damage meanwhile was visible in a mansion in Thiseio, where plaster fell from the roof as a result of the tremors.

Damage from an earthquake in a mansion in Thiseio, Greece
Plaster fell from the roof (Tomas Watson)

“Plaster from the roof fell down, but nothing really bad.”

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