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Huge earthquake hits Greece and Turkey

Huge earthquake hits Greece and Turkey
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A huge earthquake shook parts of Greece and Turkey on Saturday May 24.

It struck off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea area at around midday local time (1100 CET).

The quake was felt in Athens and Istanbul and shook the entire Thrace and Aegean regions.

The US Geological Survey said it occurred 69 km (42 miles) south-southwest of the Greek city of Alexandroupolis, between the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, at a depth of 10 km (six miles).

The quake lasted approximately 20 to 30 seconds.

“It lasted very long and it was very intense,” the mayor of Lemnos, Antonis Chatzidiamantis, told Mega TV.

One British tourist, a woman, was slightly injured at the Aegean island’s airport when part of the ceiling collapsed, Chatzidiamantis said.

“It was very strong – cupboards, glasses, coffee cups, they all broke,” an elderly Lemnos resident told Greek radio.

Greek police said the quake had caused minor damage to shops and houses on the two islands.

In Turkey, about 270 people were hospitalised, most with minor injuries, as a tremor shook buildings, the government disaster and emergency department (AFAD) said.

The quake also rattled Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul, as well as the Aegean coastal city of Izmir and the popular tourism province of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.

One person was in critical condition after jumping from a balcony in the western Turkish town of Canakkale, AFAD said.

Hurriyet Daily News reported 30 people injured jumping out of apartments in the town and patients in one hospital were evacuated after cracks emerged in the building.

The tremor was also felt throughout Bulgaria, where two women in the southwestern cities of Smolian and Petrich collapsed under stress, the government said in a statement.

“The whole house was shaking. It was scary,” a resident in Bulgaria’s second biggest city Plovdiv, Gergana Petrova, told Focus News agency.

with Reuters