Quake hits off Greek island of Rhodes, one killed

ASDF213C28.jpgATHENS (Reuters) – One person was killed in an accident after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck off the island of Rhodes in southeast Greece, officials said on Tuesday, but there were no other reports of casualties or damage.

The quake occurred about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of the island in the Aegean sea, at a depth of about 13 km (8 miles), the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

“One woman was killed after she tripped and hit her head as she tried to leave her house in a panic when the earthquake struck,” Panagiotis Efstathiou, head of the National Health Operations Centre told reporters.

“It is an unfortunate event, but apart from that, there have been no other injuries reported.”

The early morning quake awoke people in Rhodes and sent hundreds out into the streets, officials said. Police said there was no reported damage to buildings, but that emergency services were on alert.

One hotel was evaluated as a precaution.

“Earthquakes are a frequent event, so evacuations are part of the normal procedure. The important thing to say is that all tourists are completely safe and well,” Babis Paliogiannidis, a board member of the Rhodes hoteliers association said.

Two people were killed and scores injured by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck near the western port city of Patras last month but most tremors in Greece, Europe’s most seismic country, do not cause serious damage.

Officials cautioned against panic after the Rhodes quake.

“This was most likely the major quake and there will be more aftershocks to follow, which are not really a cause for concern,” said Geodynamic Institute chief George Stavrakakis.

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