Earthquake shakes Athens

Sunday, January 8, 2006

On Sunday, an earthquake rocked the country of Greece early in the afternoon.

Seismographs have recorded the earthquake as a 6.7 (estimated) on the Richter Scale. There are only reports of minor damage at the island of Kythira, including 3 injuries.

Location-map of the Earthquake Source:USGS

The earthquake took place at 1:34 pm local time (1134 UTC) and was felt, according to locals, throughout Greece and as far away as Cairo, Egypt, and the coasts of Jordan. This is unusual, as previous major quakes in the highly-seismic Mediterranean country have been limited to a relatively small region.

The quake's epicenter was located about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Athens near Kythira, the US Geological Survey institute said. Amending its previous report of a magnitude of 6.4, the USGS, based in Colorado, and the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.7, However, the Thessaloniki Aristotelion University's Seismology Laboratory and the Patras seismic monitoring station have recorded the quake at a magnitude 6.9.

Aftershocks have been recorded near the epicentre, however were not as powerful as the original earthquake.

A witness in Athens at the time of the quake described the general mood as calm.

More than 100 people died following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, in 1999.