Earthquake measuring 5.3 hits Romania, causing minor damage

BUCHAREST: Authorities say an earthquake measuring 5.3 has struck eastern and central Romania, and was felt in neighboring Moldova.

The National Earth Physics Institute said the quake hit at 02:11 am Saturday (2311 GMT) and its epicenter was in the eastern Vrancea region, known for its seismic activity.

There were reports of minor damage and injuries in the city of Iasi.

Emergency situations official Silvia Bolohan told national news agency Agerpres two people suffered minor injuries there.

She said plaster fell off one building, and there were reports of objects falling in peoples' homes. Some residents spent the night outside. A dozen people called Iasi's emergency services after suffering panic attacks.

The quake was also felt in the capital Bucharest, the central city of Brasov, and the southern city of Craiova.