Greek Seismologists Worry About Mild Aftershocks on Lesvos, Fear New Earthquake

The mild after-tremors following the 6.1 Richter earthquake that hit the island of Lesvos on Monday worry seismologists because they are not enough to decompress all the seismic activity of the fault that caused the earthquake.

The area of Vrysa village that was hit the most has been declared in a state of emergency. One woman is dead, 15 injured people and 800 displaced area residents are the victims of the earthquake, while houses in 12 villages of southern Lesvos were damaged.

Greece’s government has vowed to rebuild the region devastated by an earthquake on Monday.
Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis, who was on Tuesday visiting the village of Vrisa on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, said that the reconstruction effort will not upset the area’s traditional architecture.

Scientists say that the one hundred or so recorded earthquakes are not enough to release the full seismic energy of the fault. Although the seismic sequence in such earthquakes lasts for months, seismologists point out that after the 6.1 Richter magnitude so far, only two tremors over 4 Richter have been recorded. However, scientists expect at least one powerful aftershock, near the size of what is considered to be the master earthquake.

Professor Akis Tselentis stated on public television that it is “mathematically certain that we will have an aftershock of about 5 Richter magnitude.”

Professor of seismology Costas Papazachos spoke on Skai television saying that, “So far we have recorded an aftershock of 4.9 Richter, we would expect something stronger. Aftershocks of 5.9 Richter are expected for such an earthquake.”

“Certainly there will be such an aftershock, it is an illusion to believe something different,” the professor said,  adding that in the 1845 earthquake that struck the same area on October 11th that year, the powerful aftershocks took place on October 12-13-23.

Papazachos said that an earthquake like that would have more than 50 aftershocks over 4 Richter magnitude, explaining that the seismic sequence would last for another 5 months.


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