Greek quake damages buildings, no casualties reported

Greece lies on major faultlines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.
Greece lies on major faultlines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV

ATHENS (AFP) - A strong 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck early Saturday (March 21) in north-west Greece, damaging property in the city of Parga, authorities said.

The quake struck at 0049 GMT (0249 local time), with the epicentre 11km from Parga in Kanalaki district, and 316km north-west of Athens, the Athens geodynamic observatory said.

"No casualties have been reported at the moment," Parga mayor Nikolas Zacharias told AFP by telephone.

"Some old abandoned houses in Kanalaki collapsed and some houses suffered significant damage in this district of 2,500 inhabitants," Mr Zaharias said, adding the temblor was strong throughout the area.

Landslides partially damaged the region's roads, he added.

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

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

In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake left 143 people dead in Athens and the region northwest of the capital.