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Seismologists on alert as “twin earthquakes” rattle Central Greece

Greek seismologists are on alert after an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale rattled Central Greece at 8:38 on Thursday evening. The earthquake occurred in the same epicenter as the 6R a day earlier and caught seismologists by surprise as it was not an aftershock but a new earthquake. They speak of a rare phenomenon called “twin earthquakes.”

The epicenter of 5.9R was 16 km South-West of Elassona, shifted North-West than the 6R on March 3, 2021.

Seismologists like Gerasimos Papadopoulos speak of the possibility of the rare phenomenon of a “seismic couple” and warn that the danger is not over.

Also seismologist Costas Papazahos spoke of “twin earthquakes” and said that its magnitude may revised upwards. He pointed out that “we have not seen the activation of neighboring faults”, however if this happens “it will be seen in the coming days.”

Head of the Greek Earthquake Planning & Protection Agency, professor Efthymios Lekkas told media that the 5.9R “was not an aftershock but a new earthquake that came from the activation of a new branch of the fault line in the area, in the North-West.”

He did not rule out strong aftershocks even of the same magnitude.

The earthquake on Thursday evening spread panic among the citizens who rushed to the streets even in broader areas like Trakala, Volos and Lariassa.

It reportedly brought some 30 houses to collapse and detached also rocks from the massive of Meteora.

According to local media tameteora, the rock fell near houses and a church, but nobody was injured.

The new earthquake triggered an outrage among the hundreds of families who spent a second night in their cars, in tents and hotels of Trikala and Larissa as their homes either collapsed on Wednesday or were deemed as “not safe.”

  • Of 294 inspected houses, 205 have been deemed “unsuitable”.

The regional governor of Thessaly, Costas Agorastos told Alpha FM on Friday morning that some 400 people have lost their homes.

Next to the issue housing problems, residents of the villages Mesochori, Damasi, Amouri and Magoula are confronted with the low temperatures at night, the electricity cut and the unsuitability of the drinking water.

The new earthquake and the many aftershocks have reportedly damaged the power network. Already the earthquake on Wednesday, caused problems in the water network with the effect that a “brown liquid” comes from the faucet.

Local authorities and volunteers reportedly distribute food, water, blankets and other essential items to the citizens in the affected areas.

More tents are expected to be set up on Friday.

Meanwhile, local authorities and residents demand that the new lockdown restrictions will not be implemented from Saturday, March 6, so that they can leave the area and move to relatives and friends even in other regional units, something currently impossible due to the pandemic measures.

A team of the country’s top seismologists is expected to visit the area later on Friday to conduct inspection in the epicenter of the “twin earthquakes” phenomenon.

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