Strong quake rocks Bulgaria

2012-05-22 09:02
Sofia - A strong 5.8-magnitude quake rocked Bulgaria shortly after 03:00 on Tuesday, Bulgaria's Seismological Institute said on Tuesday.

"The magnitude measured so far was 5.8 on the Richter scale with the epicentre near Sofia, between the towns of Pernik and Radomir," a spokesperson at the institute said.

"We have been registering many aftershocks since then," she added.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages but the jolt was felt very strongly on the top floors of buildings in Sofia.

Residents of tall apartment buildings in Sofia said objects crashed to the ground during the tremor which lasted several minutes and was immediately followed by at least one aftershock.

"Everything was shaking like crazy. I ran out shouting... I won't go back home today," teenager Maria said outside her apartment building in a western Sofia neighbourhood.

People, who were still sitting outside in their pyjamas over an hour after the first jolt, said they felt a new tremor around 04:30.

Civil defence chief Nikolay Nikolov said his service received many reports of toppled chimneys and cracked walls and even broken windows in the region of Pernik, about 30km southwest of Sofia.

There were no reports of interruptions of electricity or communications.

The quake comes on the heels of Sunday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake around the northern Italian city of Ferrara that killed six people and reduced homes and historic buildings to rubble.

In August 2009, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Black Sea between Bulgaria and Romania to the southeast of the Kaliakra Cape, the Bulgarian seismological institute said at the time. No serious damage was reported.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bulgaria  |  earthquakes
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