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Landslide in Thirasia island off Santorini; experts warn (video)

A landslide occurred on the small island of Thirasia situated just one nautical mile off Santorini in the Aegean Sea on Saturday evening. Expets warn of high risk, if no protection measures are taken.

According to local media, no injuries have been reported, however, material damage in several stores in the settlement have been recorded.

The incident took place at 7 p.m. next to the port of Korfos, a settlement located on the eastern side of Thirasia, serving as the port for the island.

The landslide triggered a cloud of dust, with passengers visited boats capturing the images in a shocking video documentary. Large rocks tumbled from a height and fell into the harbor.  The dust reached also Oia on Santorini, one nautical mile away.

Videos by via local media cyclades24.gr

Thirasia also known as Therasía, is an island in the volcanic island group of Santorini in the island group of Cyclades in the Aegean Sea and is located to the west of Santorini and is about one mile (1.850 km) from Ammoudi in Oia. The island was a small part of the western coast of prehistoric Strogyli and is thought to have been cut off and created during the great volcano eruption of 1600 BC.

Speaking to ANT1 TV on Sunday morning, president of the National earthquake prevention & Planning organization (OASP), Ethymios Lekkas, spoke of a high landslide risk due to the terrain structure.

“Thirasia and the entire Caldera are at high risk of landslides because their soil structure is shaped in such a way that many layers are unstable. There are many layers of lavas and pyroclastic rocks, they are the ones that dissolve more easily and then the slope is undermined, causing the lavas to detach and landslides to occur. This is a permanent condition there and thus the strange and beautiful beaches of the area were created.”

Lekkas pointed out that these areas have been developed residentially with a lot of people gathering each and every summer and that the erosion problem has been known already.

“Thus, the exposure of the population to the risk is particularly high and sometimes the results are unpleasant and include the loss of human life, as unfortunately happened in the year 2011,” Lekkas recalled the incident where  one tourist was killed and four others were injured.

The mayor of Santorini Nikolaos Zorzos, told the same TV channel that there have been never works to restore and stabilize the area as it is a very big and expensive project.

It should be noted that heavy rainfalls in the recent years cause landslides in the volcanic island group at least once a year.

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