Powerful earthquake hits Lesbos – one dead ten injured

Reuters — A powerful  earthquake struck the Aegean island of Lesbos on Monday at 15:28,  5 km south of Plomari, a town on the coast of Lesbos, killing one woman and rattling buildings from the Aegean Turkish province of Izmir to the Greek capital Athens.


Initial estimates put the quake at 6.3 R but the National Observatory of Athens estimated the magnitude of the quake  slightly lower at 6.1 R.

Extensive damage was reported at a village on Lesbos, which was at the forefront of a migration crisis two years ago when hundreds of thousands of war refugees landed there seeking a gateway into Europe.

“Tens of buildings have collapsed and roads are blocked off,” said Marios Apostolides, the divisional commander of the fire brigade.

At least 25 aftershocks were recorded following the initial quake.

A woman, believed to be about 45, was crushed by the roof of her home and died, the island’s mayor said. Local officials said at least 10 people were injured.

The quake was felt as far away as the Greek capital of Athens, some 367 km  southwest of the island and as far north as Istanbul.

Major geological fault lines cross the region and small earthquakes are common, though anything higher than 5.5 is rare.

Anything exceeding that is capable of causing extensive damage.

Social media users who said they were in western Turkey reported a strong and sustained tremor.

More than 600 people died in October 2011 in Turkey’s eastern province of Van after a quake of 7.2 magnitude and powerful aftershocks. In 1999, two massive earthquakes killed about 20,000 people in the densely populated northwest of the country.