An earthquake in the Aegean Sea rattled areas in western Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday, reported a European monitor and a Turkish government agency.
Turkey’s disaster authority AFAD said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 at a depth of seven kilometers.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located around 84 kilometers (52 miles) west of the coastal Turkish city of Izmir, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said on its website. The EMSC put the quake’s magnitude slightly higher, at 6.3. Tremors were felt in the coastal city of Izmir as well as the city of Istanbul, some 330 kilometers away.
The EMSC logged more than a dozen aftershocks following the quake, none of them exceeding magnitude 5.
“We will be seeing the aftershocks of this in the coming hours, days and weeks,” said Haluk Ozener, head of Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory.
Damage in Greece
There were no initial reports of casualties or damage in Izmir, but the quake caused significant damage on the Greek island of Lesbos. In the small town of Plomari in the south, a church steeple was damaged in the quake and cracks appeared on the walls of several houses, said deputy mayor Manolis Armenakas.
The quake also caused several landslides that have partially blocked roads, Armenakas said. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Tremors were also felt close to Greece’s Samos island as well as in Athens.
Turkey and Greece are located on significant fault lines and have been regularly hit by earthquakes in recent years. In 1999, a huge earthquake near the northwestern city of Izmit – east of Istanbul – killed more than 17,000 people.
rs/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)