Several aftershocks that followed the 5.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Ioannina on Saturday night forced most citizens to spend the night on the streets and city squares.
The main earthquake was followed by 4 more powerful aftershocks, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.9 points on the Richter scale after 2:05 am in the morning till 4am. No injuries were reported, although many residents in the regions affected chose to sleep in the open out of fear.
Eyewitnesses say the first earthquake in the northwestern Greek city lasted for some seconds, while cracks in houses in Kalpaki and a monastery in Asprangeli were reported. The head of the Civil Protection Agency, Dimitris Mavrogiorgos, said the tremor caused rock falls and problems on the road network.
According to the Patra Geodynamic Institute, the epicenter of the tremor was located in the village of Pogoni, 16km away from Ioannina, while it was also felt across the northwest coast of Greece in the cities of Preveza, the island of Kerkyra, Patra in the Peloponnese and the Thesprotia region.
According to Geology Professor Efthymios Lekkas, who spoke on Skai television, the earthquake was caused by the same rift that had caused the earthquakes in 2000 and was felt in many areas due to its small focal depth.