Kefalonia Earthquake: A 5.8 Magnitude Hits GreeceBy: Tina Volpe - January 26, 2014
The Greek island of Kefalonia was rocking and rolling on Sunday morning after a 5.8 or higher magnitude earthquake shook them. The magnitude is estimated until experts investigate further.
Local media reported minor injuries to residents and damage to buildings and roads.
The epicenter was about 175 miles west of Athens, near the town of Lixouri, and its depth was 11 miles, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.
A local news site, kefaloniapress.gr, reported some damage on roads and buildings in the largest island towns of Lixouri and Argostoli. There were also some minor injuries from falls, and falling objects.
Several rock falls and damage to the local airport’s control tower were reported as well.
One of the injured islanders, Kleon Moros, said that many of the local hospital’s windows had been damaged and, as a result, patients needing X-rays had to be moved to another building.
“It is too early to say if this is the main earthquake, although it likely is,” Manolis Skordilis, an associate professor of geophysics at the University of Thessaloniki, told The Associated Press.
“This area shows the highest incidence of seismic phenomena, not only in Greece, but on an east-west axis stretching from Gibraltar to China. In 1983, there was a 7 magnitude quake in the same area … We have already had many aftershocks and expect many more.”
In the first three hours following the earthquake, there have been 12 aftershocks with a magnitude over 3. The strongest was 4.5.
Costas Papazahos, a seismology professor at the University of Thessaloniki, said the 5.8 was a preliminary reading, saying that he expects the final figure to be between 6 and 6.2
Greece is no stranger to earthquakes, the nearby island of Zakynthos suffered severe damage by a 7.2 quake in 1953.
Image via YouTube