Published On: Fri, Mar 29th, 2024
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Huge 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocks holiday hotspots Athens and Crete | World | News

A huge 5.7 earthquake hit southern Greece, where many UK visitors enjoy their holidays in the spring sunshine, at 7.12am GMT on March 29. 

One minute before the massive tremor, initially reported to have a magnitude of 5.9, another was recorded in southern Greece by the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (CSEM), with a 4.1 magnitude.

Greece’s capital city Athens and the island of Crete, located some 214 miles away from the southern tip of the Greek peninsula, were among the areas where the tremor was felt. 

But the earthquake was felt as far as Malta, as reported by the Times of Malta. Speaking about the quake, a spokesperson from the Malta Seismic Monitoring Group said the area is typically affected by earthquakes related to the Hellenic subduction zone.

The epicentre of the earthquake has been located 75 miles southwest of Patras, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said. 

The quake originated some 10.5 miles below the seabed off the Strofades, two small islands part of the municipality of Zakynthos. 

Early reports didn’t mention injuries or damages caused by the earthquake. Local authorities evaluated the risks of a tsunami, the Mirror wrote. 

Following the tremor, the president of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organisation, Efthymios Lekkas, told Greece’s state broadcaster: “The earthquake should be of great concern because it has been recorded in a marine area with a large focal depth.”    

Following the initial earthquake, the CSEM recorded a series of smaller tremors, likely aftershocks. 

Between 7.28am and 7.45am, the organisation reported four smaller quakes, ranging from 2.1 to 3.1 magnitude.

Among the others recorded in southern Greece throughout the morning were also three low-magnitude ones that struck within the space of just nine minutes, between 8.21am and 8.30am.   

Greece lies in a highly seismically active region, where earthquakes are common. Most of the tremors happening in the area are not felt by the population and cause no injuries and little to no damage.

A 4.8-magnitude quake struck the coast of the Peloponnese as recently as January, with the epicentre located some 50 miles away from the Greek capital. 

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