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Strong earthquake rattles Greek island

/ 12:41 PM February 03, 2014

ATHENS – A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the Greek island of Cephalonia in the Ionian Sea early Monday, the the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The quake hit at 5:08 a.m. (0308 GMT) with its epicenter just 12 kilometres (7 miles) from the town of Lixourion, 300 kilometers west of Athens, the USGS said.

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There were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the same region late last month.

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That quake was felt on several Ionian islands and as far away as the capital Athens.

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

Cephalonia has previously been struck on several occasions and in August 1953 virtually every house on the island was destroyed during a major earthquake.

The island was also the setting for the popular novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, about a Second World War romance between an Italian soldier and a local woman. A 2001 movie of the same name, starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, was filmed on the island.

The Mediterranean region as a whole is seismically active due to the convergence of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates.

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