The magnitude 6.2 quake struck off the coast of western Turkey
A STRONG earthquake has rocked the Greek island of Lesbos, injuring 10 people and damaging dozens of homes at the Brit tourist hotspot.
The magnitude 6.2 quake struck off the coast of western Turkey close to the islands of Samos and Lesbos, which are hugely popular with holidaymakers.
It struck at a depth of 10km today and tremors were felt as far away as the Greek capital, Athens, and Istanbul, according to the European earthquake monitor, EMSC.
The mayor of Plomari, Manolis Armenakas, told ERT state television: “We have damage to several buildings, old and new. We are now evaluating the damage.”
At least 10 people were injured in the village of Vrisa in Lesbos, Greek authorities said.
Didem Eris, 50, a dentist who works in Izmir’s Karsiyaka district said: “The trembling was really bad.
“Everything in my clinic started shaking wildly, we all ran outside with the patients.
“We are very used to earthquakes as people of Izmir but this one was different. I thought to myself that this time we were going to die.”
The epicentre of the quake was 84 km (52 miles) northwest of the Turkish city of Izmir.
At least 20 aftershocks were recorded.
AFP reporters in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, said the earthquake was felt in the city centre and caused alarm among residents.
Ayse Selvi, 61, felt the tremors in her summer home in Karaburun near the quake’s epicentre.
“My God, all the picture frames fell on the ground and I have no idea how I ran out. I’m scared to go inside now.”
Her sister Seval Isci, 57, fled her home in Izmir along with the other residents of the building when the first aftershock hit.
“We were really scared,” she said.
Authorities in Lesbos said dozens of homes were damaged in parts of the island and some roads were closed.
Senior seismologist Efthimios Lekkas said: “We are advising residents in affected areas of Lesbos to remain outdoors until buildings can be inspected.”
Turkey and Greece sit on significant fault lines and have regularly been hit by earthquakes in recent years.
This year alone, Turkey’s western Aegean coast was hit by several earthquakes of up to 5.5 magnitude, which brought back memories of past deadly earthquakes.
In 1999, a powerful magnitude 7.0 quake hit near the city of Izmit, devastating the country’s densely populated northwestern zone and killing more than 17,000 people.