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Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake Rattles Cyprus

Cyprus earthquake
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 hit off Cyprus island. Illustration: Greek Reporter

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 has hit the Cyprus region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) announced on Tuesday. The earthquake was at a depth of 2 km (1.24 miles).

The Geological Survey Department said the quake was recorded at 3:08 am. The epicenter was in the sea off Cyprus, 50 kilometers west-northwest of Polis Chrysochous.

“The earthquake was felt throughout Cyprus, especially in the Paphos district. It was also felt throughout the eastern Mediterranean,” the department said in an announcement. By 5:30 am a series of aftershocks, with a maximum magnitude of 3.1, were recorded, it added.

It shook buildings in the capital, Nicosia, 130 kilometers away, and the few people who were awake went out into the streets.

“It was frightening. The whole building was shaking endlessly,” one Nicosia resident told AFP. “I thought it would never end.”

Greece and Cyprus especially earthquake-prone areas

Greece and Cyprus both lie in a highly seismically active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries, however.

In October 2020, 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.

The country is located in a complex geological boundary zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

The northern part of Greece lies on the Eurasian Plate while the southern part lies on the Aegean Sea Plate.

The Aegean Sea Plate is moving southwestward with respect to the Eurasian Plate at about 30 mm (1 inch) per year while the African Plate is subducting northward, beneath the Aegean Sea Plate, at a rate of about 40 mm (1.6 inches) per year.

The northern plate boundary is a relatively diffuse divergent boundary while the southern convergent boundary forms the Hellenic Arc.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow.

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