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Quake measuring 5.7 strikes off northwest Turkish coast

by FP Staff  Jan 9, 2013 00:30 IST

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An earthquake of 5.7 magnitude struck just off Turkey's northwestern Aegean coast on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, leaving no reports of casualties or damage even though people felt it in Istanbul and Athens.

The quake occurred at 14:16 GMT, 59 miles (95 km) southwest of the Turkish city of Canakkale at a depth of 6.1 miles, said the Survey.

"It was a very strong quake even though the epicentre was in the sea," said an official at the Athens Geodynamic Institute which sited the quake 25 miles off the coast of the Greek island of Lemnos.

A police official in Lemnos told Reuters there were no reports of any injuries or damage on the island so far.

Greece is often rattled by earthquakes. Most cause no serious damage but a 5.9 magnitude quake in 1999 killed 143 people.

Turkey's disaster management authority (AFAD), which put the quake at a higher 6.2 magnitude, also said there had been no reports of injuries or damage to property in Turkey.

Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in Turkey, which is crisscrossed by geological fault lines. In October 2011, more than 600 people died in the eastern province of Van after a quake of 7.2 magnitude and powerful aftershocks.

About 20,000 people were killed in two separate earthquakes in northwestern Turkey in 1999.

(Reporting by Jonathon Burch in Istanbul and Renee Maltezou in Athens; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Andrew Heavens)