NEWS

Greek seismologists play down fears of knock-on effect from Albania quake

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Greek seismologists sought to play down fears of a knock-on effect from the destructive earthquake on neighboring Albania that claimed at least seven lives and injured dozens of people in the early hours of Tuesday.

Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA), the head of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, Professor Efthymios Lekkas, said that Greece is at “no risk” from the Albanian earthquake, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and struck 30 kilometers northwest of the capital Tirana.

He said the damage from the earthquake, especially in the port town of Durres where several buildings have collapsed, is due mainly to the old age of the structures rather than the severity of the tremor.

“I do not think that this earthquake can affect Greek territory, given that there are certain [geologic] structures on the Greek-Albanian border that block seismic activity from spilling over from one country into the other,” said Lekkas, who is heading a team of experts traveling to Albania later on Tuesday to help authorities there in the recovery effort.

Greece has also sent a disaster response team from EMAK to assist in search-and-rescue operations.

Also speaking to ANA-MPA, Thessaloniki University geophysicist Konstantinos Papazachos echoes Lekkas’ reassurances, saying that “Greece is not in any danger.”

“The Durres fault is a seismic center, whose activity we have known about since ancient times,” he said, also adding that the damage can be attributed to shoddy construction.