A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the west coast of Cyprus early Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said. According to AFP, it was felt in Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.
The strong and relatively shallow earthquake had its epicenter 48 km west of the Mediterranean island of Polis, the USGS reported.
It shook buildings in the 130-kilometer capital, Nicosia, and few people who were awake took to the streets.
“It was scary. The whole building was shaking endlessly,” a Nicosian told AFP. “I thought it would never end.”
The likelihood of casualties and damage from the quake is small, the USGS said in a preliminary assessment.Cyprus is in a secondary area threatened by earthquakes, but earthquakes of this magnitude are rare. The strongest earthquake in the recent past was with a magnitude of 6.8 in 1996, killing two people.