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Double earthquake strikes with 5.7R and 4.5R western Greece

A double earthquake occurred in the Ionian Sea shortly after 9 am on Friday, March 29. The tremors of magnitude 5.7 and 4.5 on the Richter scale occurred with a difference of one minute off Messinia and Ilia, south-western Peloponnese, and south of the island of Zakynthos.

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According to preliminary reports. there are no injuries but some minor material damage in Zacharo, in Ilia, the mayor told state broadcaster ERT.

However, all schools in Ilia will close on Friday for preventive reasons, local media reported.

The first earthquake had a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale and the second – one minute apart – was a 5.7 on the Richter scale. The epicenter is located 25 km East of the Strofades islet off Messinia and had a focal depth of 21.5 km.

According to Greece’s Geodynamic Institute, the first earthquake with 4.5 R occurred at 9:11 a.m. Its epicenter was 17 km East of Strofades and had a focal depth of 34 km.

The second earthquake stroke with 5.7R at 9:12 a.m., with epicenter located 25 km East of the Strofades islet off Messinia and a focal depth of 21.5 km.

Strofades are two islets in the Ionian Sea, 27 nautical miles off Cape Gerakas on Zakynthos and more or less same distance from the West coast of Peloponnese.

The tremor was particularly strong, lasted for several seconds and it was felt also in Greek capital Athens.

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Speaking to ERT TV, head of Earthquake Planning and Prevention , Efthymios Lekkas, appeared reassuring, saying “we should not worry because the earthquake occurred in a maritime area far from inhabited areas. It was felt in many areas and we are dealing with a major earthquake.”

He explained that “it does not make any difference if it is a double or single earthquake, but in which zone is its focal depth. It is from a horizontal slip fault that runs across the floor of the Ionian Sea.”

Lekkas noted that there are “some cracks in monasteries in Strofades. We have to follow the process. We are monitoring the phenomenon and are ready.” He added “we have no recorded earthquakes from this specific fault.”

Lekkas urged locals to stay away from dilapidated houses and houses with  stability problems.

It is worth noting that a 2.9 Richter aftershock followed shortly after the strong tremor.

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