A powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the island of Zakynthos early Friday morning. The earthquake stroke at 1:54 a.m. with its epicenter located 34 km South-West of the island in the Ionian Sea. It occurred at a depth of 10km. It is the biggest earthquake occurred in the area since 1953.
There was a tsunami warning, however, the alert was over three hours later. The waves were very weak up to 20-30cm and were recorded also in Italy and Albania.
According to information coming from the island, there are no serious injuries so far just material damages.
Locals rushed to the streets and reported of a loud noise and long duration.
“Scary, very scary,” a man told Ionian TV. “I managed to walk to the door,” an elderly woman said wondering whether she could spend the night outside. The earthquake woke the horrifying memories of the earhquake in 1953 with 450dead, thousands of injured and destoryed settlements in Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaki. “We are scared, we remember the ’53 earthquake,” two elderly ladies said.
Anybody else in western Greece feel that massive earthquake about 20 minutes ago? This is video of our dining room chandelier stroll swinging 1-2 minutes *after* the earthquake ended! #earthquake #Patra #westernGreece #expatlife pic.twitter.com/4mDC2FUulO
— Aliz Koletas (@AlizKoletas) October 25, 2018
Power was cut mainly in the south of the island, and it was restored by the daylight.
Kindergartens, schools and public administration services remain closed.
Different seismological institutes give different measure form 6.4 to 6.8 on the Richter scale. Prior to the earthquake a 5.1R tremor occurred. Ten minutes after the 6.8R, a 5.4 earthquake followed.
Video shot in far away Loutraki at the moment the earthquake strikes.
The tremor was felt at a distance of up to 800 km in 12 countries, like Italy, Albania, Bosnia, FYROM, Bulgaria, Turkey and even in Malta and Libya.
There is a strong seismic activity. By 9 o’ clock in the morning 13 earthquakes have occurred with the weakest at 3.4 R and the strongest at 5.2R.
Todays strong #earthquake in Ionian Sea, #Greece, in an area of high seismicity near the junction of Hellenic Arc subduction and Cephalonia Transform Fault. NW-SE/WNW-ESE thrusting in accord. with local tectonic structures. Revised epicenter location (ML 6.4) from NOA. pic.twitter.com/0aqZhsTwOb
— Sotiris Valkaniotis (@SotisValkan) October 26, 2018
Dozens of aftershocks have been recorded and locals fear another powerful earthquake may occur.
However, seismologists are reassuring considering it was the main earthquake.
Head of the Greek Earthquake Protection Agency, Efthymios Lekkas, said had the earthquake occurred closer to the island, we would have much bigger problems.”
He added that an earthquake up to 5.9 R is expected in the coming hours.
Research director at the Greek Seismologic Institute, Gerasimos Papadopoulos told media that aftershocks of up to 6 and 6.2R were possible.
Seismologist Akis Tselentis said big aftershocks could occur within the next two months.
Damages at the port of Zakynthos. They do not disrupt sea traffic, the mayor told state broadcaster ERT short before 10 o’ clock in the morning.