Experts warn Lesvos’ 4.9-magnitude tremor may not be main event

Experts warn Lesvos’ 4.9-magnitude tremor may not be main event

Greek seismologists warned that a 4.9-magnitude earthquake that shook the island of Lesvos, in the eastern Aegean, early Saturday morning, causing rockfalls and minor damages to old houses, may not be the main event.

“We need to be a little bit careful because the fault that caused today’s earthquakes is close to the larger fault of Agia Paraskevi that runs through the island from one end to the other,” seismology professor and Director of the Athens Geodynamic Institute, Akis Tselentis, told state-run news agency AMNA.

“We are not 100% sure that this is the main earthquake and for the moment it is difficult to claim such a thing.”

The view was shared by seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos who told ANT1 channel “it is too early to assess whether this 4.9-Richter earthquake was the main one.” 

“An earthquake is a dynamic phenomenon, every smaller vibration that is added helps us assess the situation,” he added.

The tremor was followed by a series of aftershocks, the biggest of which hit around 9 a.m. and measured 4.6 on the Richter scale, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.

In addition to rock slides from the slopes of the surrounding mountains, minor damage were reported in houses in the villages of Pelopi and Molyvos, as well as at the road network of the area. The church of Agia Triada in the village of Stypsi has also sustained minor damage. 

The mayor of western Lesvos, Taxiarchis Verros, said Greece’s Seismic Risk Assessment Committee will meet in the next few hours to discuss the tremor and issue further information.

Seismologist Gerasimos Chouliaras said in a comment on social media that the epicenter of the tremor and the smaller ones that have followed are not related to the 6.1 magnitude undersea quake recorded on June 12, 2017 south of Lesvos and strong seismic sequence that killed one woman and left more than 800 people displaced.

The 2017 event, which was also felt in Turkey, caused extensive damage mainly on southern parts of the island.

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