Strong earthquake rattles Greek island


ATHENS: A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the Greek island of Cephalonia in the Ionian Sea early Monday, the the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The quake hit at 5:08 am (0308 GMT) with its epicentre just 12 kilometres from the town of Lixourion, 300 kilometres west of Athens, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the same region late last month. That quake was felt on several Ionian islands and as far away as the capital Athens. Greece is one of Europe’s most earthquake-prone countries. Cephalonia has previously been struck on several occasions and in August 1953 virtually every house on the island was destroyed during a major earthquake. The island was also the setting for the popular novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, about a Second World War romance between an Italian soldier and a local woman. A 2001 movie of the same name, starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, was filmed on the island. The Mediterranean region as a whole is seismically active due to the convergence of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates.