Firefighters rescued six people from collapsed houses in Mesochori on Wednesday following the earthquake that occurred in central Greece earlier in the day.
The six who were rescued had been trapped in collapsed houses in the village of Mesochori, following the 6.0 earthquake that shook the Elassona region of central Greece.
Reports say that at least 30 houses have been damaged in the vicinity of Mesochori in the municipality of Elassona from the strong quake that struck the area. The residents have congregated together in the streets for safety and are waiting for further instructions from the municipality and civil protection services.
No serious injuries reported so far
The Region of Thessaly issued an announcement at 3:00 in the afternoon to citizens on the quake that hit Elassona.
The statement said that no serious injuries have been reported so far but that there has been material damage as a result of the temblor.
As of now there is no official prediction for further strong aftershocks, and experts are monitoring the phenomenon, which is still in progress.
The region urged citizens to stay outdoors, in open areas, and not return to their homes for the next several hours as a precaution.
The directorate has activated the mechanism as created by the Engelados plan for earthquakes and is in constant communication with the Citizen Protection Ministry and all the other relevant ministries.
Local Church and other buildings damaged in Elassona
The tremor struck 121 km (75 miles) SW of Thessaloníki near the town of Elassona in the region of Larissa. Its focal depth was 10 km (6 miles) into the earth.
The worst hit village in the area is Mesohori, near Elassona where the local church and some old houses were badly damaged.
The earthquake was felt in Larissa, Trikala, Kozani and Thessaloniki.
Footage shows residents of Larissa taking to the streets.
The Mayor of Elassona, Nikos Gatas, said that he has already given an order to begin inspections for any damage to all public and municipal buildings.
Seismologists expressed uncertainty about the progression of seismic activity in Elassona after the quake and a succession of aftershocks.
Professor of Seismology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Costas Papazachos did not rule out the possibility of a strong aftershock of the same magnitude as the initial tremor, adding that a series of aftershocks will follow.
Papazachos noted that schools should not open on Thursday for any reason, adding that people should remain cautious and not go back indoors for some hours.
Professor of seismology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) Manolis Skordilis said that “In all likelihood this was the main earthquake.”
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), he added: “The rift in the area has caused earthquakes in the past. The most recent was in the 18th century. It was in 1781, with a magnitude of 6.2 Richter. The earthquake that took place today is in the range of the earthquakes occurring in the area,” he said.
Greece’s many earthquakes
Greece lies in a highly seismically active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries.
Last October, an earthquake that struck the eastern Greek Aegean island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast killed two people on Samos and at least 75 people in Turkey.