63-magnitude earthquake hits central Greece

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit
central Greece on Wednesday, damaging several buildings, including schools,
and prompting residents near the epicentre to rush into the streets.

“Everything happened very fast, people ran out of buildings, there are
still aftershocks,” Chrissoula Katsiouli, a staffer at the mayor’s office in
the local town of Elassona told AFP.

The fire department said that according to the first reports, a local home
and a school had been damaged. Police also sealed off a bridge cracked by the

“Fortunately, the teachers managed to get the children out very quickly
and there were no victims,” the mayor of Tyrnavos Yiannis Kokkouras told Skai

Greek media reported that a disabled man trapped in his home in the
village of Mesochori had been rescued. TV images showed the side wall of his
house had completely collapsed.

The Civil Protection agency also reported landslides had occurred in the
region, and authorities were assessing further damage.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake, which could be felt across
central and northern Greece, was magnitude 6.3.

But the Institute of Geodynamics in Athens said earlier the quake had
measured at a magnitude of 6.0.

– ‘Significant’ aftershocks –

According to the Athens observatory, the epicentre of the quake was 21
kilometres (13 miles) south of the town of Elassona, near Larissa and was
eight kilometres deep.

There were at least three aftershocks following the main tremor —
including one at magnitude 4.0 — and authorities warned there could be more.

Seismologist Gerassimos Papadopoulos warned of further “significant
aftershocks”, speaking on Skai radio.

However, experts stress that quake faults in the area rarely produce
tremors larger than the one clocked on Wednesday.

The last major earthquake in the area was in the 18th century and was
magnitude 6.2, Manolis Skordilis, a seismologist at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle
University, told state agency ANA.

Greece is located on a number of fault lines, and is sporadically hit by

But the quakes often happen at sea and do not often kill people or cause
extensive damage.

The last fatal earthquake was in October, when a magnitude 7.0 hit in the
Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and the city of Izmir in western

The majority of damage was in Turkey where 114 people were killed and more
than 1,000 injured.

In Greece, two teenagers were reported dead on the island of Samos.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)