NEWS

Zakynthos quake prompts state of emergency

TAGS: Earthquake

Authorities in Greece declared a state of emergency on the island of Zakynthos on Saturday, after the strong earthquake that hit the area on Friday.

The general secretariat for civil protection said in a statement the decision was taken to “deal with emergencies and manage the consequences resulting from the earthquake on October 26.”

The main 6.4-magnitude quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers in the sea 50 km off the coast of Zakynthos. It was felt as far away as Athens, southern Italy, Albania and Libya.

The island’s port was damaged as well as a 15th century monastery, but no major injuries were reported.

Dozens of aftershocks rattled the island with at least eight quakes measuring from 4 to 4.8 on the Richter scale recorded during the night, near the epicentre of Friday’s main event.

Seismologists have warned that they expect another earthquake measuring up to 5.8 on the Richter scale in the coming days to complete the seismic sequence. 

Earlier, three two-storey houses in Panagoula, an area in southeastern Zakynthos, were evacuated after municipal engineers determined they were not safe.

A team from the Region of Ionian Islands found the buildings were at risk of being crushed by a rock that was detached from a mountain behind them, state-run news agency ANA-MPA said.

Police has blocked access to the three houses and one of the families will be staying temporarily in housing provided by a local social organization.

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios send a letter to the Metropolitan of Zakynthos, Dionysios, to express his sympathy and support to the islanders. 

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