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4.2 Earthquake Hits Greece’s Cyclades

A 4.2 earthquake hit the Cyclades islands in Greece on Friday. According to the Athens Geodynamic Institute, the quake struck just before 8 a.m. local time in the sea area between the islands of Amorgos and Santorini.

The earthquake had a focal depth of 17.1 km.

There are no reports of damages in any of the nearby islands which currently host hundreds of thousands of tourists from across the globe.

Earlier in June a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Atalanti in central Greece. A stronger 5.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the island of Kythera in southern Greece in March.

Catastrophic Cyclades earthquake of 1956

In 1956 Amorgos and Santorini were hit by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake on July 9.

The epicenter was to the south of the island of Amorgos, the easternmost island of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea.

There was significant damage on Amorgos and the neighboring island of Santorini. It was the largest earthquake in Greece in the 20th century.

It was followed 13 minutes later by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake near Santorini. It triggered a major tsunami with a maximum run-up of 30 m.

The combined effects of the earthquake shaking and the tsunami caused the deaths of 53 people with a further 100 injured.

Scientists warn that Greece could be struck by large earthquake

Greece may be struck by a large earthquake like the one which has devastated Turkey and Syria, at least two Greek scientists have said.

The seismological forecasts were made during conversations about the impacts of the natural disaster in Turkey and Syria. The professors expressed concerns that a similarly large earthquake could affect Greece sometime in the future.

Speaking in two separate interviews, Professor Konstantinos Synolakis and Professor Costas Papazachos drew similar conclusions when assessing the history of seismic activity in the Greek region.

Greece lies 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 seventy-five people in Turkey.

Greece is located in a complex geological boundary zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the African and Eurasian Plates. 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 thirty millimeters (one inch) per year while the African Plate is moving northward, sliding beneath the Aegean Sea Plate at a rate of about forty millimeters (1.6 inches) per year.

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