Strong earthquake hits off Greek tourist island

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"The lack of electricity is a problem, but technicians are trying to restore power".

However, power outages have been reported on the island of Zakynthos, according to BNO.

According to reports, the quake lasted 15 to 30 seconds and was felt as far as Malta, Libya, Italy, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey.

The quake was also felt on mainland Greece, including in the western town of Pyrgos.

Nevertheless, the castle-monastery of Aghios Dionyssios, a byzantine monument of the 13th century AD on the island of Strofades (27 nautical miles south of Zakynthos) collapsed.

The Geodynamic Institute of Athens said the largest quake measured 4.0 on the Richter scale.

"Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and natural disaster resistant construction", the USGS said.

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The quake rattled the whole of western Greece and was strongly felt in the capital, 280 kilometers (174 miles) to the northeast of Zakynthos.

It struck at 1:54 a.m. (2254 GMT Thursday) and was followed about half an hour later by a 5.2 aftershock.Greece straddles two tectonic plates and often gets earthquakes.

Pavements have been damaged in Zakynthos' main port but no major injuries reported. The village of Mouzaki is near the popular tourist resort of Laganas.

Greece suffers from thousands of earthquakes per year, due to the area lying on one of the world's most natural disaster prone regions. More than 140 people were killed in an natural disaster north of Athens in 1999.

In, Zakynthos strict building regulations protect the earthquake-prone island.

The quake led to brief power cuts on Zakynthos.