An earthquake which hit Samos and surrounding islands in the eastern Aegean early yesterday was one of the most powerful to be felt in the area for over a decade, leaving experts puzzled and local authorities asking for help in checking the safety of buildings. The 6-Richter quake struck at 12.40 a.m. and its epicenter was in the town of Seferihisar, near Izmir, in Turkey. An elderly man in Turkey died of a heart attack and tens of people were injured. There were no injuries in Greece. Apart from Samos, the earthquake and its 5.3-Richter aftershock were felt on the nearby islands of Chios and Lesvos. Some minor damage to local schools was reported, leading authorities to ask the government to send teams to check the safety of public buildings. Yesterday’s seismic activity came less than four days after two equally strong earthquakes hit Samos, raising concern among experts. «It is not usual to have earthquakes of this magnitude so often,» Costas Makropoulos, professor of seismology at Athens University, told Kathimerini.