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Strong earthquake strikes Crete in Greece

Athens:  An earthquake with a magnitude of more than six degrees struck the island of Crete in southern Greece on Saturday, with initial reports of material damage.

According to the US Geological Survey the quake had a 6.4 magnitude, while the Athens Observatory, quoted by the state-run Athens News Agency, gave it a 6.2 magnitude.

The earthquake struck at 4:12 pm (1312 GMT) in the sea some 60 kilometres (37 miles) off the city of Hania in western Crete, the agency said.

"The quake took place in an area known for its seismic activity. It was strongly felt in Crete but also in the rest of Greece," geology professor Efthymios Lekkas told Skai radio.

According to the radio station, houses and shops in Crete have suffered damage.

Greece is one of Europe's most earthquake-prone countries.

On Friday, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake, described as "mild" by the observatory, struck the north of the country causing no damage.
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