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Cyprus rocked by 4.9 earthquake off Paralimni

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Cyprus was shaken by an earthquake recording a magnitude of 4.9 pre-dawn Friday, but no structural damage or injuries were reported.

It was felt across the island and as far as Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, and Syria.

The Cyprus Geological Survey Department said the earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter Scale occurred at 4:41 am local time, in the sea area off Xylofagou, 20 km southwest of the coastal town of Paralimni, at a depth of 45 km.

The larger than usual tremor was felt across the island, including the capital Nicosia with witnesses saying it lasted a “good 20 seconds”.

It was more strongly felt in Larnaca and the Famagusta area, where some people came out onto the street.

There were several smaller aftershocks after the initial quake on Friday, the Geological Survey Department said.

No damages were reported, while officials did not issue any coastal or tsunami warnings in the immediate aftermath.

Earlier in January, Cyprus was shaken by an earthquake measuring 6.1 in magnitude was one of the strongest quakes ever recorded.

It was the biggest earthquake to shake the island since a 6.5 on the Richter scale quake struck Paphos in October 1996, when two people died – the strongest in the previous 100 years.

Cypriot authorities urged people to remain calm but vigilant, noting that the island is situated in a seismogenic zone where earthquakes are possible at any time.

Cyprus is a secondary earthquake-prone zone, but strong tremors of this magnitude are uncommon.

The biggest quake in recent years was a magnitude of 6.8 in 1996, killing two people in Paphos.

A sizeable 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook Cyprus on 3 February, 53 km northwest of Polis, at a sea depth of 24 kilometres.