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Strong aftershock 5.2R rattles Lesvos; experts have declared hundreds of houses as “uninhabitable”

An earthquake with 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale occurred in the sea area 31 km south-west of the island of Lesvos on Saturday night. It occurred in a depth of 10 km. According to reports from the island, locals reacted cool to the new powerful tremor, no damages have been recorded. It was the strong aftershock we have been waiting for, seismologists said. Dozens of aftershocks have occurred since a powerful tremor stroke with 6.1 R last Monday, killing a woman and bringing to collapse several houses in the village of Vrisa. The 5.2 R on Saturday were the strongest aftershock after Monday.

The seismic activity on Saturday night June 17 2017

3.8 R at 22:33  epicenter 28km South off Lesvos

3.2 R at 22:37   epicenter 43km South-West off Lesvos

5.2 R at 22:50 epicenter 31km South-West off Lesvos

“This 5.2 Richter is the aftershock that we have been waiting for, ” Gerasimos Houliaras, Research Director of the Geodynamic Institute, told Athens News Agency. “Together with the 4.6 R that  occurred at 6:40 on Saturday morning, we believe that the energy has been exhausted and things will go smoothly,” he added.

Professor of Geology and Chairman of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Agency, Efthimios Lekkas,  noted that the earthquake that ravaged Lesvos Saturday night was probably in the context of the normal post-seismic sequence. “We were missing an aftershock of such size,” Lekkas told news website enikos.gr.

Between Monday and Thursday night, 350 aftershocks below 5 R have been recorded. All aftershocks came from the same 25-km- long active fault line in the sea area off Lesvos, seismologists said at an emergency meeting in Mytilini.

Meanwhile, experts teams continue the recording of damages on the island. The number of houses inspectors declare as “uninhabitable” increases day by day. Five days after the earthquake that hit Lesvos with 6.3 R and a total of 637 building have been declared as uninhabitable.

So far, inspection teams have checked 1,128 buildings. Among them are 975 private houses, the rest are business places, public buildings, churches, warehouses etc.

446 houses have been declared as inhabitable and 529 as uninhabitable.

Inspections continue. Many residents of Vrisa have moved to their summer houses, found shelter by relatives or in hotel rooms.

According to official estimations, the reconstruction of the village and damage repairs in Vrisa could conclude in three to four years.

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