Strong Quake Hits Macedonia Near Greek Border

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) - A strong earthquake struck southern
Macedonia near the Greek border on Sunday night, damaging dozens of
homes, an official said. No casualties were immediately reported.

The quake, with an epicenter near the Macedonian town of Valandovo, 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the Greek border, struck at 6:17 p.m. (1617 GMT), authorities said.

The temblor measured 5.1 on the Richter scale, the Geodynamic Institute at the University of Thessaloniki and Skopje's Seismological Observatory reported. The U.S. Geological Survey gave a slightly higher magnitude: 5.4.

Initial estimates of earthquakes often vary.

The Skopje Observatory said that more than 70 temblors with a magnitude greater than 4 had been registered in the area since Saturday night.

Miso Taleski, the spokesman for Macedonia's National Crises Center, told The Associated Press that no casualties were reported but that dozens of houses in the village of Bashiboz, near Valandovo, had sustained heavy damage.

"Our team is on the way to Bashiboz," Taleski said. "The villagers have panicked."

The earthquake also caused residents in the nearby towns of Strumica, Valandovo and Dojran to evacuate their homes.

No damage or casualties were reported in Greece.

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