msnbc.com news services
updated 4/1/2011 10:26:18 AM ET 2011-04-01T14:26:18

A strong earthquake struck the southern Greek island of Crete on Friday, rattling buildings as far away as Cairo, Egypt, across the Mediterranean. Local police said they had no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Athens Geological Institute and the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany, gave preliminary magnitudes of 6.2, while the U.S. Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 5.9. Preliminary magnitudes recorded by geological institutes often differ.

The quake struck off the southern coast of Crete at 4:29 p.m. local time, 75 miles east of the city of Irakleion, at a depth of 48 miles, the USGS said.

"We have no reports of damage or injuries so far," said a police officer in Irakleion.

Greece is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, but serious damage and fatalities are rare.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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