A strong earthquake, which lasted for a long time, measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was located in the sea, south of the island of Kythira, between the island and western Crete, rocked Greece, the host country of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest around 12:35 CET.
The quake lasted some 30 seconds and the epicentre was located 215 kilometers south-west of Athens and 92km NW of Chania, Crete. Apart from Athens, the tremor was also felt in Crete, the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Corfu, Epirus, Volos and Cyprus, while the quake was also felt in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
According to Professor Gerasimos Papadopoulos of the Athens Geodynamics Institute, the quake was at a great depth, which limits the possibility of a stronger aftershock. Problems were detected with the mobile phone companies and calls could not be made for some time after the earthquake.
Two minor injuries were reported in Chania, while damages were also reported at the airport on Kythira. No big damages have been reported so far.
UPDATE: The quake was noticed in Malta as well. According to the latest information, thousands of people left their homes in panic. Police and army are on high-alert.