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Strong quake hits western Greek isle of Kefalonia

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A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the western Greek island of Kefalonia before dawn Monday, sending panicked residents into the streets just over a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings across the island - reported the AP.

Sixteen people were treated for minor injuries at the hospital in Lixouri, the island's second largest town and the one closest to the epicenter, hospital director Nikos Markatos said. Local residents calling in to early morning radio and television news shows reported damaged roads and cuts to the power and water supply in some areas.

Earthquakes have been rattling this island constantly for the past week, after a 5.9-magnitude temblor struck the area on Jan. 26, damaging homes and slightly injuring seven people. Since then, thousands of residents have been spending nights with relatives or in ships sent for that reason.

Schools on the island have been shut for the past week, and had not been scheduled to reopen until Wednesday, said Deputy Mayor Evangelos Kekatos.

Authorities urged the islanders to remain calm and not approach any buildings that appeared damaged.
Kefalonia's mayor and seismologists urged people on the island to leave their houses temporarily.

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