Magnitude 5.3 earthquake sounds the Greek island from Crete

ATHENS, Greece — An earthquake using preliminary size 5.3 struck the southern island of Crete on Friday, the Greek government said.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the undersea quake happened at 7:28 p.m. local time (1628GMT; 12:28 p.m. EDT) from the island’s southern shore and its epicenter was in a thickness of 40 km (25 miles).

Greece is among the very earthquake-prone areas of earth, and Crete itself has a higher incidence of quakes. Most cause little damage and deaths are infrequent. But, in 1999 an earthquake near Athens killed 143 people.