The recent 6.4 earthquake in Greece shook the country, but it didn’t cause any serious damage to structures. No deaths have been reported as a result of the earthquake.
Tremors in the often hit area were reported after the quake struck 43 miles off the cost of the island of Crete.
The US Geological Survey listed the quake at a 6.4 magnitude while the Athens Geological Institute listed it at a 6.2 magnitude.
In comparison, a 1999 earthquake that registered a 5.9 magnitude killed 143 people and caused major damage to some structures in the country.
While some minor damage has been reported, officials note that the earthquake was deep enough in the ocean and far enough off land to stop a major catastrophe. The earthquake was 22.5 miles below the seabed.
Several shop owners and home owners have reported damage in the west of Crete.
Tremors were felt up to 180 miles away, including in the capital city of Athens, the Peloponnese peninsula, and the Cyclades cluster of islands.
Residents have described the tremors as “big” with “a lot of rattling” that caused “lights to sway back and forth.”
One resident explains that the tremors lasted longer than they are accustomed to, but not as strong as quakes in the past.
Geology professor Efthimios Lekkas told Greek television that the earthquake was deep enough that the ocean helped absorbed much of the impact.
The Haiti earthquake for comparison purposes registered a 7.0 on the Richter scale, but did not have the same depth to protect victims.
Greece is hit by semi-regular earthquakes because of tectonic plates in the area. According to the U.S. Geological Survey website:
“Most shallow earthquakes in central and northern Greece (depths less than 50 km) result from interaction between the Eurasia plate and the small Aegean Sea plate, which is moving southwest with respect to the Eurasia plate with a velocity of about 30 mm/year. The boundary between the Aegean plate and the Eurasia plate in central and northern Greece is diffuse. Seismicity is concentrated in east-trending and northeast-trending zones of deformation. The east-trending zones are most prominent in mainland Greece, are characterized by predominantly normal faulting, and have produced earthquakes with magnitudes of about 7.”
Are you surprised that a 6.4 earthquake in Greece caused so little damage?