Third earthquake in quick succession jolts Lesvos

Another earthquake, the third in a row, shook the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos on Monday at 13:45. According to the Athens Observatory Geodynamic Institute, which issued an announcement on behalf of the four bodies making up the National Seismological Centre, it was a light tremor measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale. It said the epicentre of the third quake was located 63km northwest of Mytilene and about 266km northeast of Athens.

Dr. Efthimios Lekkas, a seismologist at the Athens University Geology and Geoenvironment Department, explained that the island has been experiencing intense seismic activity since 5:55 on Monday morning, while the strongest tremor was a 5.2-Richter magnitude quake at 12:58 in the afternoon.

He said the epicentre of the quakes was located within Turkish territory, about 34 km north of Mytilene, at a focal depth of 10 km. The succession of earthquakes began with a moderate tremor of 5.1 on the Richter scale in the early morning and a lighter 4.2-Richter magnitude quake at 13:45, as well as a series of intervening aftershocks, he said.

Lekkas reassured residents of Lesvos and Chios, which was also shaken by the tremors, that there was no cause for concern. He said seismologists will be monitoring the phenomenon closely, however, since it is occurring in an area with several rifts, though not the very destructive Anatolia rift. A period of 48 hours must pass before the phenomenon can be said to be fully completed, he added.

According to the Athens Observatory Geodynamic Institute figures issued earlier, the island was shaken by two moderate earthquakes on Monday, both measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale. One occurred early on Monday morning on the Turkish coast north of Lesvos and the second at 12:58, with an epicentre 271km northeast of Athens and 63km northwest of Mytilene.