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Strong quake rattles Greek island of Crete

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ATHENS, Greece — A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck the southern Greek island of Crete Monday, sending residents into the streets. There was no immediate information on injuries, but local media reported some damage to buildings in villages near the epicenter.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake struck at 9:17 a.m. local time (0617 GMT), with an epicenter 246 kilometers (153 miles) south southeast of the Greek capital, Athens.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center and the US Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0, with an epicenter seven kilometers (4 miles) north of the village of Thrapsano. It is common for different seismological institutes to give varying magnitudes for an earthquake in the initial hours and days after an event.

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Several aftershocks also struck the area, with the EMSC giving a preliminary magnitude of 4.6 for the strongest one.

Residents of the city of Heraklion rushed out into the streets. Local media in Crete reported some damage, mainly with collapsing walls of old stone buildings in villages near the epicenter of the temblor on the eastern part of the island. Children were evacuated from schools.

Heraklion mayor Vassilis Lambrinos told Greek Skai television that there were no immediate reports from emergency services of any injuries or severe damage. He said schools were all evacuated and were to be checked for structural damage.

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