Local media on Samos were broadcasting footage of a badly damaged church and cracks in other buildings and roads in the wake of a 6.7-Richter earthquake that struck off the eastern Aegean island’s northwestern coast on Friday afternoon.
“People are panicking and have spilled out into the street,” Samos Deputy Mayor Giorgos Dionysiou said, describing “scenes of chaos” on the island.
Dionysiou confirmed that “numerous” buildings have been affected, with the worst of the damage being limited to older buildings. He added that there are no reports of injuries so far.
The earthquake appears to have struck nearby Turkey especially hard, however, with the state-run Anadolu Agency reporting that five buildings have collapsed or been badly damaged in the seaside town of Izmir and people are trapped in the rubble.
There were also unconfirmed reports of rockfalls on Chios, while the powerful earthquake, which was felt some 300 kilometers away in Athens and has been given a magnitude of 7 Richter by the European and American seismological agencies – a bit higher than the National Observatory of Athens’ revised reading of 6.7 Richter – also affected Kos and other islands in the area.