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Traffic jams the biggest problem from Fri. quake in greater Athens area

Major traffic jams on Friday in the greater Athens area were the first result of a moderate, but strongly-felt, earthquake that struck the region just after 2 p.m. local time. Highways leading out of the Greek capital were particularly affected.

Traffic lights were out on major thoroughfares, while mass transit systems, including rail networks, were operating at a much reduced capacity.

Several buildings were damages, mostly dilapidated and abandoned structures.

Authorities called on residents and visitors alike to avoid non-emergency cell phone communications.

At the same time, ferry boat operators were delaying the departures of ferries from the main port of Piraeus, given the delays in traffic reported. Friday afternoon is a peak time for people departing the greater Athens area for Aegean island destinations, more so in the peak summer period.