Strong quake strikes Greek island, 1 killed

ATHENS, Greece – A strong earthquake struck the Greek island of Rhodes early Tuesday, killing a woman who slipped trying to flee her home, local authorities said.

No major damage was reported to any of the island’s buildings or historical sites by the quake, which the Athens Geodynamic Institute said had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3.

The quake struck at 6:26 a.m. about 275 miles southeast of Athens, beneath the seabed south of Rhodes, the Geodynamic Institute said. It was also felt on the islands of Santorini and Crete.

Residents and tourists fled their homes and hotels in panic. Dodecanese prefect Yiannis Mahairides said on Antenna radio that one woman died of head injuries when she tripped and fell on a staircase in her home in a village on Rhodes.

No damage was reported at any archaeological sites or at the medieval castle in Rhodes.

The U.S. Geological Survey gave the magnitude as 6.4. Magnitudes often differ in the first hours and days after an earthquake.

Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, but most of the quakes do not cause damage or injuries.

On June 8, a 6.5-magnitude quake struck near the western port city of Patras, about 120 miles west of Athens, killing two people, injuring more than 200 and damaging hundreds of buildings. In 1999, a magnitude 5.9 quake near Athens killed 143 people.

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