Quake readiness exercise on cards after tremors near Athens

A few hours after two 5.1-Richter quakes struck the Gulf of Evia, north of Athens, Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Tuesday heralded a readiness exercise to ensure that Greek authorities are prepared to respond adequately in the event of a strong earthquake.

The exercise, which will be held in the coming months, will test the coordination of all the relevant authorities – including the Public Order and Defense ministries as well as regional and municipal authorities. Kikilias emphasized that the plan was not a cause for alarm, noting that seismologists had not warned of a stronger quake ahead, but said the aim was “the greatest possible efficiency for the benefit of the Greek citizen.”

The two quakes which struck shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday near Halkida were felt in the capital but no injuries or damage were reported.