Earthquake rattles Romania's capital Bucharest

An earthquake hit eastern Romania early Wednesday (Dec 28), shaking the capital Bucharest.
An earthquake hit eastern Romania early Wednesday (Dec 28), shaking the capital Bucharest.PHOTO: USGS

BUCHAREST (AFP) - An earthquake hit eastern Romania early Wednesday (Dec 28), shaking the capital Bucharest, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Romania's National Institute for Earth Physics put the quake at magnitude 5.2, while the US Geological Survey gave it a magnitude of 5.6.

"The epicentre was in the seismic region of Vrancea at a depth of 100km," the institute's spokesman Mircea Radulian told AFP after the quake hit around 1:20 am (7:20am Wednesday Singapore time).

The Vrancea region, northeast of Bucharest, has experienced some of Romania's most deadly tremors, notably in 1977 when a 7.2-magnitude quake killed more than 1,500 people.

The area sits on the junction of three tectonic plates and is one of the most seismically active areas in Europe.