ATHENS - An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck off the southern Greek coast Saturday, the Athens Observatory said.

No casualties or major damage to buildings were recorded in the aftermath of the tremor, which occurred at 3:43 pm (1343 GMT) off the island of Kythira -- 265 kilometres (164 miles) south west of Athens, the official seismic observers said.

Greece is the most earthquake-prone country in Europe, accounting for half of the continent`s quake activity.

In April last year a quake measuring 5.7 was recorded near the island of Zante in the Ionian Sea, forcing people to flee their homes.

02/03/2007 18:33 GMT

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