One dead as 6.3-magnitude quake strikes Greece and Turkey

A woman died and several others were injured at a village on the Greek island of Lesbos where several homes collapsed. There was no report of any damage from western Turkey where tremors shook buildings.

A woman died and 10 people were hurt on Monday when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios and the Aegean coast of western Turkey.

The middle-aged victim had been trapped for around seven hours in the ruins of her home in the Lesbos village of Vrisa, the area that bore the brunt of the strong quake and where several homes collapsed.

“Our fellow citizen who was trapped in the house that collapsed in Vrisa was pulled out dead,” Lesbos mayor Spyros Galinos said in a tweet.

Video footage shot by a Vrisa resident on a cellphone showed masonry from several single and two-level homes clogging the streets.

“It’s a difficult situation, we are facing a disaster,” Christiana Kalogirou, governor of the north Aegean region, told Greek state TV station.

“Some 10 people are injured,” she added.

“The army is bringing in tents so people can spend the night,” she said, adding that the south of Lesbos had taken the brunt of the quake.

The tremor damaged at least three churches and shops in south Lesbos, local owners said, while rock slides blocked some roads.

There was no report of any damage from western Turkey where tremors shook buildings.

Izmir citizens alarmed

Witnesses in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, said the earthquake was felt in the city centre and caused alarm among residents.

“The trembling was really bad. Everything in my clinic started shaking wildly, we all ran outside with the patients,” said Didem Eris, a 50-year-old dentist in Izmir’s Karsiyaka district.

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.

Social media users who said they were in western Turkey reported a strong and sustained tremor.

“We will be seeing the aftershocks of this in the coming hours, days and weeks,” said Haluk Ozener, head of Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory, noting that the aftershocks could have magnitudes of up to 5.5.

Major geological fault lines cross Turkey and small earthquakes are almost a daily occurrence.

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.

On August 17, 1999, a huge earthquake measuring more than 7.0 magnitude near the city of Izmir devastated vast areas in the country’s densely populated northwestern zone, notably around Istanbul, killing over 17,000 people.