The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Monday, 29 October 2018 01:00

Tremendous earthquake strucks the Greek Island of Zakynthos

Strong earthquake strucks the island of Zante Strong earthquake strucks the island of Zante.

A massive earthquake occurred 44 kilometers south-west of the Greek island of Zakynthos causing structural damage and electricity power loss. Fortunately no fatalities were reported.

 The 6,8 (according to the USGS) or 6,4 magnitude (according to the Greek Institute of Geodynamics) tremblor was felt in Athens, in Albania and in south Italy. It struck at a depth of 16.6 kilometers and was followed by smaller aftershocks.

The quake was a result of a rupture on the plate boundary between the African and the Eurasia plates. The African plate is subducting beneath Eurasia at a rate of about 2,8cm per year. Focal mechanisms show that a slip on a near-vertical, West-Northwest striking fault or a moderately dipping North striking fault occurred.

Joanna Jones, a British tourist, describes the feeling of experiencing such a vast shock: "Have you seen the new Jumanji? That was exactly what it was like. The floor, beds and every bit of furniture bouncing and shaking up and down," she said. "Everything was visibly shaking up and down. The table, wardrobe and beds were all bouncing. It felt like it lasted five minutes but realistically it was only 10 seconds. The pool was swaying all over the place and the shelves have all come down in the shops," she added.

Power outages were reported in almost all the island of Zante. Many people spent the night in the streets in fear of a strong aftershock. Schools remained closed on Friday 26 of October.

According to the president of the Greek Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (E.P.P.O.) , E. Lekkas, there was no significant damage on the island with respect to the magnitude of the earthquake. In particular, some structural damage was reported at ports and houses while severe subsidence occurred in the main port of Zakynthos. Moreover, the medieval Strofades monastery on a small island closer to the epicenter of the quake suffered critical damage and according to some reports, it is on the edge of collapsing. Authorities also reported that some landslides have caused problems to the road network. 

The island of Zakynthos was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1953. The devastating shock destroyed most of the constructions and caused hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries. Since then, the design codes have changed and the earthquake-prone area is protected from large shocks. "Zakynthos has anti-seismic protection. There were only cracks inside homes and minor rockslides," said Mayor Pavlos Kolokotsas.


Read 451 times Last modified on Monday, 29 October 2018 16:59


Magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocks Greece's island of Zakynthos

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