Mon | Oct 25, 2021

Strong earthquake shakes central Greece

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 11:28 AM
Damage is seen to a house after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of up to 6.3 struck central Greece on Wednesday and was felt as far away as the capitals of neighbouring Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. (AP Photo/Vaggelis Kousioras)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 6.0 struck central Greece Wednesday and was also felt in neighbouring Albania and North Macedonia, and as far as Kosovo and Montenegro.

One man was injured by falling debris but there were no other immediate reports of serious injury.

Local officials reported structural damage, mainly to old houses and buildings that saw walls collapse or crack.

The midday quake sent thousands of people rushing out of homes and office buildings into the streets in Larissa and Tyrnavos, the closest towns to the epicentre, which was 14 miles west-northwest of Larissa.

Numerous aftershocks hit the area, the most powerful having a preliminary magnitude of over 5.0.

The quake struck at 12:16 p.m., according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute which put the preliminary magnitude at 6.0.

The United States Geological Survey and Global Seismic Monitor Geofon put the preliminary magnitude at 6.3, but it is common for magnitude estimates to vary soon after a quake.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu phoned his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, to convey solidarity and offer assistance if needed, according to officials from the two neighbouring countries — which are longtime regional rivals.

Greece lies in a highly seismically active region.

The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries.

Last October, an earthquake that struck the eastern Greek Aegean island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast killed two high school students on Samos and at least 75 people in Turkey.

In 1999, an earthquake near Athens killed 143 people.

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