Athens hit by earthquake

The quake registered a magnitude 5.1. Two buildings collapsed but no major damage was initially reported.
Image: Earthquake in Athens
Damage is seen on the bell tower of the Church of the Pantanassa at the Monastiraki Square following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019.Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

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By Patrick Smith

An earthquake hit near the Greek capital of Athens on Friday, causing two buildings to collapse and sending people running out into the streets. No other major damage was immediately reported, a government spokesperson, Stelios Petsas, said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center reported that the quake hit the town of Magoula, 14 miles northwest of the city center, and reached magnitude 5.1.

The epicenter was said to be near or in the mountainous forested area of Parnitha, where a large earthquake struck in 1999.

Local media reported communication and power outages in some areas.

A map tweeted by the EMSC showed the quake, which hit just after 2 p.m. local time and lasted around 15 seconds, could be felt across the country. There have been at least two aftershocks.