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  1. ITV Report

People run into streets as 5.3-magnitude earthquake hits Athens

Firefighters search for trapped people at a damaged structure following an earthquake at the port of Piraeus. Credit: AP

People fled onto the streets of Athens after a strong earthquake struck the Greek capital.

The 5.3-magnitude quake was felt 9km (5.6 miles) from Eleusis just after 2pm local time.

The quake caused power cuts across the capital and the fire brigade reported receiving calls about people trapped in lifts.

People ran out onto the streets as a 5.3-magnitude quake hit the Greek capital. Credit: AP

An abandoned building had collapsed in a western district of the city and that several other abandoned buildings had suffered serious damages in other parts of the city, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.

Authorities say there was no immediate word on injuries or damage.

Visitor Alex, from Manchester, said the earthquake lasted a few seconds.

She said: “I don’t think it was super serious, I’m not an Athens native and I’m from the UK so it shocked me and my family a lot — we never experience earthquakes.

Tourists in Syntagma Square, Athens Credit: Petros Giannakouris/AP

“I was actually asleep at the time, so I was very scared initially.

“Everything seems normal, the apartment I’m in is hidden from the main street view, but no noticed damage.”

The Athens Institute of Geodynamics initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1 but the US Geological Survey has assessed it as a 5.3-magnitude.

The most powerful quake to hit Athens in the last 20 years came in 1999, when a temblor of magnitude 6.0 caused extensive damage and killed more than 140 people.