Quake in Aegean shakes buildings in Greece and Turkey

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* Eastern Greece, western Turkey rattled in quake
    * Extensive structural damage reported
    * Rescue operation underway for woman trapped in debris

 (Updates)
    ISTANBUL/ATHENS, June 12 (Reuters) - A powerful 6.3
magnitude earthquake struck the western coast of Turkey and the
Greek island of Lesbos on Monday, rattling buildings from the
Aegean Turkish province of Izmir to Greece's capital of Athens.
    The epicentre of the quake was about 84 km (52 miles)
northwest of the Turkish coastal city of Izmir, the
European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said on its
website. The National Observatory of Athens put it slightly
lower, at 6.1.
    Extensive damage was reported at a village on the Greek
island of Lesbos, which was at the forefront of a migration
crisis two years ago when hundreds of thousands of war refugees
landed there seeking a gateway into Europe.
    TV footage showed collapsed buildings and debris blocking
narrow streets at Vrisa, a community of around 600 people to the
south of the island.
    "Tens of buildings have collapsed and roads are blocked
off," said Marios Apostolides, the divisional commander of the
fire brigade.
    A woman was trapped in her collapsed home, while local
officials said about 10 people were injured.
    The quake was felt as far away as the Greek capital of
Athens, some 367 km (228 miles) southwest of the island.
    Major geological fault lines cross the region and small
earthquakes are common, though anything higher than 5.5 is rare.
Anything exceeding that is capable of causing extensive damage.
    "The trembling was really bad. Everything in my clinic
started shaking wildly, we all ran outside with the patients,"
said Didem Eris, a 50-year-old dentist in Izmir's Karsiyaka
district. "We are very used to earthquakes as people of Izmir
but this one was different. I thought to myself that this time
we were going to die."
    Social media users who said they were in western Turkey
reported a strong and sustained tremor.
    "We will be seeing the aftershocks of this in the coming
hours, days and weeks," said Haluk Ozener, head of Turkey'sKandilli Observatory, adding that the aftershocks could have
magnitudes of up to 5.5.
    More than 600 people died in October 2011 in Turkey's
eastern province of Van after a quake of 7.2 magnitude and
powerful aftershocks. In 1999, two massive earthquakes killed
about 20,000 people in the densely populated northwest of the
country.

 (Reporting by Turkey and Athens newsrooms; Writing by David
Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler and Angus MacSwan)
 ((david.dolan@tr.com; +90 212 350 7046; Reuters Messaging:
david.dolan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: TURKEY QUAKE/ (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV)




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