Greece, earthquake in Larissa

6.3 earthquake shakes central Greece

The earthquake could be felt in several Balkan countries. Turkish government has offered its help to Greece after the earthquake.

A strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale shook today central Greece with its epicentre near the city of Larissa, triggering panic among the local population. The powerful earthquake could also be felt in several Balkan countries, including Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro.

The Institute of Geodynamics of Athens placed the magnitude of the earthquake at 6 degrees on the Richter scale with an epicentre 21 kilometres south of the town of Elasona, on the outskirts of Larissa, a city about 300 kilometres north of the Greek capital. However, the prestigious United States Geological Survey (USGS) evaluated its intensity at 6.3 degrees. The earthquake started at 12:15 p.m. local time (11:15 CET).

There was no immediate information about deaths or injured, although local authorities confirmed that several old buildings and houses in rural areas had suffered damage such as cracks or partial collapse. The earthquake spread panic among the population of central Greece, where people ran into the streets in cities such as Larisa or Tyrnavos. Numerous aftershocks of up to 5 degrees shook the area in the following hours.

Speaking to the media, Vassilis Karastathis, an expert seismologist at the Institute of Geodynamics of Athens, explained that the earthquake originated in a fault line in which there are no records of earthquakes of such intensity as the one suffered today, which is why seismologists are examining now the data and activity of this fault to try to find out what caused an earthquake of this magnitude and if there will be more in the future.

Turkey offers its help to Greece

Upon hearing the news, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that Turkey is ready to offer whatever help Greece needs after the earthquake suffered today. On his side, Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, present at a press conference in Ankara with Çavuşoğlu, also showed his support to Greece and his country’s willingness to offer help if necessary.

Turkey and Greece are two countries with high seismic activity, and despite their political differences, in the past they have helped each other many times in the face of natural disasters such as fires or earthquakes. When the Turkish city of İzmir suffered a terrible earthquake a few months ago that killed more than 110 people, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis phoned Erdoğan to offer his help. “No matter what our differences are, these are times when our peoples must stand together,” Mitsotakis said.