Shallow M5.3 earthquake, aftershocks hit near capital Athens, Greece

Shallow M5.3 earthquake, aftershocks hit near capital Athens, Greece

A shallow earthquake registered by the EMSC as M5.3 hit 23 km (14 miles) NW of Athens, Greece at 11:13 UTC (14:13 local time) on July 19, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 13 km (8 miles). Athens Institute of Geodynamics gave it a preliminary magnitude of 5.1, the USGS M5.3.

The quake was preceded by M3.2, M2.5 and M2.7 at 11:33, 11:40 and 11:51 UTC, respectively, and followed by M2.5, M2.6, M3.6 and M4.2 at 11:55, 12:07, 12:28 and 14:12 UTC.

Credit: Google, TW/SAM. Data provider: EMSC

According to local media reports, it caused limited power cuts and communication problems, and trapped people in elevators.

Bell tower of the Pantanassa church in Athens was damaged as well as other buildings in Attica but there were no reports of injuries.

A senior seismologist at the Institute of Geodynamics, Gerasimos Papadopoulos, said the quake was felt across southern Greece due to its shallow depth.

"It is too early to say whether this was the main earthquake, but there have been aftershocks of magnitude 3.5, 2.5 and 3.2 – and that is encouraging. We need more time and data to have a clear picture."

The most powerful quake to hit Athens in the past 20 years occurred was M5.8 on September 7, 1999. It caused extensive damage and killed 143 people.

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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