Natural disaster hits Athens, Greece

Earthquake hits near the Greek capital Athens

Earthquake hits near the Greek capital Athens

An abandoned building had collapsed in a western district of the city and that several other abandoned buildings had suffered serious damages in other parts of the city, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. They gathered outside the buildings, and some also left their cars and buses.

The natural disaster was registered at 5.1 magnitude with an epicentre about 22km (14 miles) north-west of Athens.

Otherwise, there was no reported serious damage or injuries immediately after the quake.

"It was more like an explosion", another woman told state TV ERT on central Syntagma Square.

The European Earthquake Monitoring Centre recorded the quake's epicenter at 22 km (14 miles) northwest of the city. The fire department is responding to calls of people trapped in elevators.

The quake struck at around 1100 GMT, sending anxious residents and office staff onto the street.

Two people were lightly injured from falling materials, officials said late Friday evening.

Efthymios Lekkas, head of the state anti-quake protection agency, said there was no reason for alarm.

"There have been at least three (smaller) aftershocks already, which is a positive sign", he said, adding that the quake was felt as far as the Peloponnese peninsula. "The capital's buildings are built to withstand a much stronger quake", he told ERT. "But we need more time and data to have a clear picture".

Greece, along with Turkey, is among the most tremor-prone regions of Europe.

In July 2017, a 6.7-magnitude quake rocked the Kos, killing two people, injuring scores and causing extensive damage to the island's historic buildings.