2 quakes rattle Greek island - intensly felt in Athens
The stronger of the 2, at magnitude 5.0, occurred at 22:06 in southeastern Evia, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute. It was preceded by a magnitude 4.8 quake at 06:32 that had roughly the same epicenter, some 58 kilometers (36 miles) northeast of the Greek capital.
Authorities ordered school closures in the south of the island following the morning earthquake, which according to the civil protection agency caused only minor damage to homes near the epicenter. Officials said schools would remain closed Wednesday, too.
Earthquakes are common in Greece and neighboring Turkey, but not off the eastern coast of Evia.
“We have no data on fault lines in that area,” Efthymios Lekkas, a professor of applied geology and disaster management at the University of Athens, told State-run ERT television.
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake near Athens in 1999 killed 143 people. (AP)
More specifically, the 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Greece’s second largest island, shaking nearby capital, Athens, southwest of the tremor’s epicenter. The Athens-based Institute of Geodynamics announced on its website (gein.noa.gr) that the earthquake occurred at a depth of 8.9 kilometers. There have been numerous, mostly mild, aftershocks.
Seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos hs recommended for people to remain calm.
"We are watching the development of the phenomenon, he added, I hope we don't have anything significant during the night and morning, while we will study it more."
The earthquake was particularly felt throughout Attica and had a longer duration than the seismic tremors that occurred earlier Tuesday morning.
Greece, close to where the Eurasian and African plates collide, is especially earthquake-prone and tremors of similar magnitude occur quite often.