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6.6-magnitude quake hits off west coast of Cyprus: USGS

A 6.6-magnitude quake hit off the west coast of Cyprus early Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said.

6.6-magnitude quake hits off west coast of Cyprus: USGS
Cyprus quake - Copyright AFP Paz PIZARRO, Aude GENET
Cyprus quake - Copyright AFP Paz PIZARRO, Aude GENET

A 6.6-magnitude quake hit off the west coast of Cyprus early Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The strong and relatively shallow quake that struck at 0107 GMT was centred 48 kilometres (30 miles) west-northwest of the town of Polis on the Mediterranean island, the USGS said.

The tremor was felt across Cyprus and around the region with reports from as far away as Turkey, Israel and Lebanon, according to the USGS.

It shook buildings in the capital Nicosia, 130 km away, and the few people who were awake went out into the streets.

“It was frightening. The whole building was shaking endlessly,” one Nicosia resident told AFP. “I thought it will never end.”

There was, however, a low likelihood of casualties and damage from the quake, the USGS said in a preliminary assessment.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre measured the tremor at 6.5 magnitude at a depth of 51 km.

Cyprus lies in a secondary earthquake-prone zone, but tremors of such magnitude are uncommon.

The biggest quake in recent years was a magnitude 6.8 in 1996, which killed two people in Paphos along the west coast.

In 1953, a 6.3-magnitude quake killed 40 people and destroyed hundreds of homes, mostly in the Paphos region.

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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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