Three Earthquakes Strike Greek island

Friday, November 9th 2007, 7:18 am
By: News On 6

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Three moderate earthquakes struck Greece's eastern Aegean Sea area early Friday, rattling residents of nearby islands, monitoring agencies said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The first and strongest quake, with a magnitude of 4.9, occurred at 3:43 a.m. local time with an epicenter beneath the seabed about 125 miles east-northeast of the capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It occurred just north of the small island of Psara, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

A second quake, with a magnitude of 4.5, occurred at 9:07 a.m., according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre. It was followed a few minutes later by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake, the USGS said. The two follow-up quakes had almost the same epicenter.

``The aftershocks were quite strong, but fortunately we have no structural damage to homes,'' Psara Mayor Manolis Agapoussis told Greek television.

Seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos, director of research at the Athens Geodynamic Institute, said that the first earthquake ``was a strong quake. There were many small aftershocks and two stronger events this morning _ but this is normal aftershock activity.''

``This activity is a relief because it suggests the main danger is over. The site of the epicenter makes it difficult to damage buildings,'' he said.

Greece lies in one of the world's most active earthquake zones. In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake near the capital killed 143 people, injured about 2,000 and left thousands more homeless.