An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck southern Greece on Sunday, killing one villager, injuring another 20 people and damaging homes and a military base, authorities said.
"We can confirm one person has been killed as a result of the earthquake," a police official told Reuters. "At least 20 people have been injured, and have been taken to hospital."
Some of those hurt had jumped from balconies in panic when the quake, which was felt as far away as Italy, struck at 1225 GMT, 54 km (33 miles) south of the western city of Patras, sending residents out into the streets.
"I've never felt anything like this before, I dived under the table and waited for it to end," Patras student Vassilis Lambropoulos told Reuters by phone.
"Once it stopped, the entire neighbourhood ran out into the streets and tried to call loved ones, but the networks had jammed, which added to the fear."
One person was found dead underneath a fallen wall in the village of Kato Achaia, near the epicentre, while about twenty people were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment of injuries, police officials said.
"The quake lasted for a long time and we all jumped from our houses. We didn't know what was happening, we only found out later from TV," Anastasia Zoumpou, a resident of the town of Aigio, north of the epicentre, told reporters.
The national Athens-Patras highway was cut after a landslide caused by the quake blocked off the country's main southern road artery, and authorities were working to clear it.
"It was terrible. We had never lived through something like this before. It was very long and we felt that the town was being flattened," Makis Paraskevopoulos, mayor of Pyrgos near the epicentre, told state TV.
The main control tower of the Greek air force military base in the nearby town of Andravida was also damaged and evacuated, police said.
"Five old buildings have collapsed in the area so far, phone lines are down and people are still out in the streets, too scared to go back," a police official told Reuters.
Tremors were felt as far away as the southern part of Italy, but officials there reported no damage or injuries.
"We will definitely have more aftershocks, which is a natural phenomenon, but people should not panic and they should listen to local authorities," Athens Geodynamical Institute director Gerassimos Papadopoulos told reporters.
The quake was felt in the capital, where 143 people were killed in 1999 by an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. Greece is often rattled by earthquakes, most causing no serious damage.
In January an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck Greece, the epicentre again in the Peloponnese peninsula.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2008, 08:21