Earthquake measuring 5.3 hits W Georgia

20:32, January 19, 2011      

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The Georgian Center of Seismology reported Wednesday that a magnitude 5.3 earthquake had rocked the west of the South Caucasus country.

The earthquake occurred at 13:17 local time (09:17 GMT) 18 kilometers southwest of Vani, which is 31 kilometers southwest of Kutaisi, Georgia's second largest city.

No casualties or property damage have so far been reported.

Some local media, however, are reporting that the earthquake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale.

Georgia has experienced several strong earthquakes in its history.

On Feb. 20, 1920, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed 114 people; on April 29, 1991, the country's strongest ever earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale killed 270 people; and on Sept. 8, 2009, a magnitude 6.0 quake occurred in the north of the country without claiming any lives.

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