Tremor stirs up water woes

State inspectors reported minimal damage to buildings in Leonidio, southeastern Peloponnese, yesterday after Sunday’s earthquake, which appears to have caused problems to the area’s drinking water. The 6.5 Richter tremor, which struck the area early on Sunday and shook many parts of the country, caused only minor damage to some old buildings and a local school, officials said. Damage occurred in the teachers’ area but the school will operate as normal, said a state official. No one was injured from the large quake on Sunday because of the depth at which the tremor took place, according to experts. «Its great depth saved the area. If the tremor had been on the surface, it would have had large consequences,» Giorgos Drakatos, research director at the Athens Geodynamic Institute, told Kathimerini. The tremor, however, shifted rocks and soil in the Lerna River which supplies Nafplion and Argos with drinking water. The water has clouded up and authorities are running tests to determine whether it is still drinkable. Television footage also showed the beach near Leonidio, where seawater had become a thick red color after the tremor. One of the largest earthquakes to hit Greece recently has left seismologists arguing over the efficiency of the monitoring system as some experts argue that announcements on Sunday were delayed. Authorities expect to test by the end of March a new national network that will link the country’s four bodies to better monitor seismic activity. The system is expected to be fully operational in the summer.