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Athens Earthquake: What Seismologists Say About the Tremor

The earthquake that hit Athens on Friday afternoon brought back memories of the terrifying moments of the deadly quake that shook the Greek capital twenty years ago.

Fortunately, this time, the 5.1-magnitude tremor was not as strong as the 1999 temblor, and the main damage was solely to buildings, with only a few people suffering from minor injuries from objects which fell on them.

Greece’s most prominent geological experts and seismologists have given their scientific opinion on the new quake that hit the Greek capital all day long on the media. Most of them agreeing that this must have been the main incident, rather than it being a precursor to a larger quake.

However, some of the experts do not agree about the specifics of the quake.

Costas Papazachos, professor of seismology in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, said that the epicenter of the quake was under the mountain range of Parnitha.

Other seismologists, however, including Efthymios Lekkas, note that the scientific community is not sure yet on whether the epicenter belonged to the Parnitha rift, the same that caused the deadly earthquake of 1999, or if it originated from one of its offshoots. This would be a factor which would signifiacnatly lessen the chances of a new, stronger quake.

According to the Greek government spokesman, daily life in Athens has now gone back to normal.

There have been no reports of serious injuries, and only damage to old, currently uninhabited buildings have been reported. There are reports of a stone cross falling from Agios Eirinis, or St. Irene, church in the Monastiraki area.

Problems in mobile communication networks were temporary – due to network overloading – and all telecommunications networks are now functioning properly.

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