Two M 6.8 earthquakes near southwest Greece
Two M 6.8 earthquakes struck off the coast of southwest Greece last night, within half an hour. Aftershocks were also reported, and a tsunami warning was issued.
The second earthquake’s epicentre was located in the Ioanian Sea, 22 miles south-west of the island of Zante. It had a depth of 14km, while the first quake was 10km.
According to the USGS:
The October 25th, 2018, M 6.8 earthquake southwest of Lithakia, Greece, occurred as the result of rupture on or near the plate boundary between the Nubia (Africa) and the Eurasia plates. At the location of this earthquake, Nubia converges with Eurasia at a rate of roughly 28 mm/yr, subducting beneath Eurasia. Preliminary focal mechanisms for the earthquake indicate oblique slip on a near-vertical west-northwest striking fault or a moderately dipping north striking fault.
The region surrounding this event is seismically active and earthquakes of this size are not uncommon. Since 1900, 13 other earthquakes M 6.5 and larger have occurred within 200 km of this October 25, 2018, M 6.8 event. The largest was a M 7.3 on October 6, 1947, which occurred 145 km southeast of this event. On June 15th, 1995, a M 6.5 earthquake, 180 km inland to the northeast, resulted in 26 fatalities. On November 17, 2015, a M 6.5 earthquake occurred 130 km to the north, closer to the coast of Greece, resulting in two fatalities.
Assessing the impact
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