A strong earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, shook the island of Rhodes in the eastern Aegean Sea just before 6.30 a.m. yesterday, resulting in the death of a 56-year-old woman who slipped and hit her head while fleeing from her home. The tremor, whose epicenter was pinpointed off the southern coast of the island, was felt as far away as Cyprus. But it caused only minor damage - a couple of minor rockfalls and a few cracks in the walls of old hotels. Seismologists explained that the island was «saved» by the depth of the quake's epicenter, some 70 kilometers below the sea. They said strong aftershocks were not expected and advised local authorities and residents to remain calm. It was panic that provoked the one death yesterday. The 56-year-old woman slipped and hit her head on the stairs of her apartment building in her haste to get out. Her 2-year-old granddaughter, who she had been carrying at the time, was not hurt. Another five islanders sustained minor injuries.