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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-06

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Powerful earthquake rattles most of Greece, no damages

  • [01] Powerful earthquake rattles most of Greece, no damages

    A powerful earthquake, measuring 6,5 on the Richter scale, jolted most of Greece on Sunday morning, but seismologists were reassuring, noting that the trembler's intermediate epicentral depth averted widespread damage, and was the reason why it was so widely felt. No noteworthy damage was reported, while deputy education minister Andreas Lykourentzos rushed to Leonidio, accompanied by a team of engineers to inspect the area's schools and assess minor damage recorded in a few school buildings.

    According to the University of Athens' Geodynamic Institute, the quake, which struck at 07:14 a.m local time, was recorded in the southeastern Peloponnese, between Sparta and Kyparissia, with its epicenter in the coastal area south of the town of Leonidio, Arcadia prefecture, about 150 km south-southwest of Athens, the capital, coming from an epicentral depth some 70 kilometres below the earth's surface.

    The quake was felt throughout most of the Greek mainland all the way up to the northwester city of Ioannina, in the western Ionian islands, and Crete in the south.

    No injuries or serious damage were immediately reported.

    The director of the Athens Geodynamic Institute, George Stavrakakis, referred to a strong earthquake emanating some 70 kilometers in depth from the earth's surface, a fact that prevented widespread damage.

    "If the quake had been close the surface, with a depth of 15 to 20 kilometers, then an aftershock would have followed measuring 6 on the Richter scale, and there would have been consequences," he said, echoing an assessment by other noted Greek seismologists.

    He explained that earthquakes with such an epicentral depth, regardless of their magnitude and the fact that they are widely felt, produce insignificant post-quake activity and do not result in substantial damage, concurring with statements by other seismologists.

    Stavrakakis further said that the quake emanaged from the Myrtoon Pelagos (Sea), which occasionally produces tremblers of such a magnitude.

    Leonidio mayor Dimitris Tsigounis told ANA-MPA that there appeared to be no damage resulting from the morning quake, which he described as "unprecedented for the region".

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