Athens, Greece – Local media on Samos were broadcasting footage of a badly damaged church and cracks in other buildings and roads in the wake of a 6.7-Richter earthquake that struck off the eastern Aegean island’s northwestern coast on Friday afternoon.

“People are panicking and have spilled out into the street,” Samos Deputy Mayor Giorgos Dionysiou said, describing “scenes of chaos” on the island.

Dionysiou confirmed that “numerous” buildings have been affected, with the worst of the damage being limited to older buildings. He added that there are no reports of injuries so far.

The earthquake appears to have struck nearby Turkey especially hard, however, with the state-run Anadolu Agency reporting that five buildings have collapsed or been badly damaged in the seaside town of Izmir and people are trapped in the rubble.

There were also unconfirmed reports of rockfalls on Chios, while the powerful earthquake, which was felt some 300 kilometers away in Athens and has been given a magnitude of 7 Richter by the European and American seismological agencies – a bit higher than the National Observatory of Athens’ revised reading of 6.7 Richter – also affected Kos and other islands in the area.

Strong quake strikes eastern Aegean

A large earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale struck off the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Friday, sending reverberations that were felt all the way in the Greek capital, nearly 300 kilometers away, the National Observatory of Athens’ (NOA) Geodynamic Institute reported.

The quake struck at 1.51 p.m. local time, just 19 kilometers north-northeast of the island’s capital, at a depth of 10 kilometers, the NOA said, revising its preliminary reading of the quake’s magniture to 6.7 from 6.6 Richter.

Local media on Samos are reporting damage to buildings and the road network, while reports are also coming in from nearby Turkey suggesting that several buildings have collapsed in the seaside town of Izmir.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), meanwhile, has given the earthquake a magnitude of 7 Richter.