Scientists Warn of Quakes Stronger than 7 Magnitude in the Aegean

A scientific study has warned that the five major fault lines that exist at the bottom of the Aegean Sea between Santorini and Amorgos could produce earthquakes of up to 7.3 magnitude on the Richter scale.

According to the research by Greek and European geoscientists, published in the international journal “Tectonophysics”, the fault lines have a length of about 20 km.

Paraskevi Nomikou, Associate Professor of the Department of Geology at the University of Athens, told the ANA News Agency that with the exception of the Amorgos fault line which was active about 60 years ago and will take centuries to reactivate, the remaining four fault lines could produce strong earthquakes.

However, scientists are not in a position to determine when an earthquake is likely to occur.

Nomikou noted that the study also counted 20 underwater volcanoes in the Aegean, although only one near Santorini seems to be active.

She pointed out that the Aegean has the seismic and morphological potential to create tsunamis, similar to the one that occurred in 1956.

In what has been described as the largest tsunami of the 20th century in the Mediterranean, it resulted from a strong earthquake that caused 53 deaths in Amorgos and Santorini.

The tsunami produced waves that reached 30 meters in Amorgos, 20 meters in Astypalea and ten meters in Folegandros.

Scientists are seeking to map out in great detail underwater fissures in order to know their potential and the magnitude of the earthquake they can cause.