Strong natural disaster hits off Greek tourist island

Hugh Fox
October 28, 2018

A powerful 6.4 magnitude quake struck the Greek island of Zakynthos early Friday, causing minor damage to the port and some buildings but no one was injured, authorities said.

The quake had a depth of around 16 kilometres. Since then all buildings have been fortified to protect against further tremors.

The tremor - which had a magnitude of at least 6.4 - was felt as far away as Albania, Italy, Libya and Malta, reports Reuters.

The EMSC European quake agency said sea levels had risen slightly, by about 7.87 inches, but the increase could be higher locally.

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"There has been no damage to houses, according to the first reports", a spokesperson for the fire service told AFP.

"Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and quake resistant construction", the USGS said. Measurements of quake strength can vary due to the equipment each institution uses and other factors.

Despite the frequency of the earthquakes, few cause injuries or significant damage.

"Zakynthos was tested by today's quake".

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The Greek tourist island, popular with Brits, is understood to have been the epicentre.

Extensive damage was avoided because quake-prone Zakynthos had adopted seismic protection codes in construction, said Efthymios Lekkas, head of Greece's Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization said.

The most recent natural disaster to claim lives, was in 1999 where the magnitude was recorded at 5.9 which killed 143 people on the outskirts of Athens.

However, pictures on social media on Friday showed a large crack in the ground at the island's port.

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