Tremor causes people to run out of buildings and problems in telecommunications.

A strong earthquake has hit near the Greek capital, Athens, causing people to run out into the streets and problems in telecommunications.

Reports on Friday gave a preliminary 5.1 magnitude, saying the tremor at 14:13pm (11:13 GMT) lasted for at least 15 seconds.

The epicentre was reported as being 23km northwest of Athens.

There was no immediate word on injuries or any major damage, but local media reported some power cuts in central Athens and interruptions on telephone lines.

Witnesses in Athens said the quake was followed by several smaller aftershocks.

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