Tremors were felt across Israel on Tuesday, after a strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck the Greek island of Rhodes early in the morning.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake struck at 6:26 A.M. local time, with its epicenter located 445 kilometers southeast of Athens, beneath the seabed south of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea.

The quake sent residents and tourists fleeing their homes and hotels. Dodecanese prefect Yiannis Mahairides said on Antenna radio that one woman died of head injuries when she tripped and fell on a staircase in her home in a village on Rhodes.

Local authorities appealed for calm, and seismologists said that while Rhodes lies in a seismically active area, major aftershocks were not expected due to the depth of about 70 kilometers.

"Such earthquakes are usually characterized by a very small post-seismic activity," said seismologist Giorgos Stavrakakis.

"We must all contribute to maintaining calm in the area," he added.

The U.S. Geological Survey gave the magnitude as 6.4. Magnitudes often differ in the first hours and days after an earthquake.

Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, but most of the quakes do not cause damage or injuries.

On June 8, a 6.5 quake struck near the western port city of Patras, about 193 kilometers west of Athens, damaging hundreds of buildings and injuring more than 200 people. In 1999, a magnitude 5.9 quake near Athens killed 143 people.