NICOSIA, Cyprus -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 rattled the small island nation of Cyprus and was felt throughout the east Mediterranean region, the country's Geological Survey Department said on Tuesday. No damage or injuries have so far been reported.
The powerful tremor struck at 3:08 a.m. (0108GMT) and its epicenter was 50 kilometers (31 miles) off the island’s western coastline at a depth of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles).
The Geological Survey Department said several aftershocks followed the main quake. Acting Department head Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou told state-run Cyprus News Agency that the quake caused neither damage nor injury because it was at such a depth and distance from the Cypriot coastline.
The quake shook some out of their beds, especially in the island’s western district of Paphos where it was felt most strongly. Many slept through it and woke up to the rhythms of their daily routine.
State broadcaster CyBC reported that a few people spent the night in their cars for fear of a recurrence. A video posted on the broadcaster's site showed several items falling off a supermarket's swaying shelves.
The Civil Defense Department said that no serious damage or injuries have been reported and that no assistance has been requested from any local authorities.
Many along the Mediterranean coast of neighboring Turkey also felt the quake, but there have been no reports of casualties or damage.
In some districts of Turkey's southern Antalya province, people rushed out of their beds into the streets after they felt the shaking, the DHA news agency reported.
Cyprus lies in an active seismic zone where it’s estimated that 15% of the world’s earthquakes occur. The last major quake, measuring 6.8, happened in 1996 and was the island’s strongest in the previous 120 years.
Suzan Frazer in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.