On the day that an even more severe lockdown is expected to be announced, a strong earthquake forced the residents of Central Greece to leave their homes and workplaces in disarray. The earthquake of 6 Richter in a mountainous area of Tyrnavos, 20 kilometers from Larissa and Elassona, shook the citizens of Thessaly and was felt in half of Greece, fortunately without any casualties.
The first – and as everything shows main – seismic vibration of 6 Richter occurred at 12:16 on Wednesday afternoon from the well-known active fault of Tyrnavos. The earthquake was superficial (it had a focal depth of only 10 km) and for this reason it had great power and long duration, while many were those who heard the characteristic roar of Egelados.
Extensive damage to buildings is recorded in the villages of Mesochori, Vlachogianni and Damasi, which are located near the epicenter of the earthquake. Minor damage was observed, of course, throughout Thessaly, with objects falling from their place in houses and shops. This was followed by a barrage of dozens of aftershocks – with the strongest reaching 5 Richter – which intensified the anxiety of the inhabitants. Seismologists have warned that strong seismic activity is expected to continue, while a large portion of residents still remain outdoors following a recommendation from the authorities.
Damage around the epicenter: Parts of buildings “fell” – Partial collapse of buildings and schools
Damage has been recorded to old houses in the area of Elassona and specifically in the villages located south of the Municipality of Tyrnavos. The Fire Department and the Municipality are already in the area, continuing the investigations.
At least 30 houses were severely damaged in the Mesochori area of the Municipality of Elassona by the strong earthquake of 6 Richter that occurred today. The damages that occurred relate to falls of parts in walls but also to significant cracks in several cases. Residents in the wider area are on the streets waiting for instructions from the Municipality and civil protection.
In Mesochori, a woman managed to get out of her house at the last minute, while according to the authorities, her husband was trapped in it. The man was found alive. The man, according to the mayor of Tyrnavos, is quadriplegic and was released alive.
A total of five other people were released in Mesochori.
The damage in this village is extensive: walls and roofs of other houses partially collapsed.
Significant damage was recorded in both churches of Mesochori.
In the village of Damasi, a partition wall collapsed in a school which was not operating due to the measures of the coronavirus.
A partial collapse occurred at a school in the village of Vlachogianni, with the students fortunately managing to get out.
In Tyrnavos, the bell tower of the church of Agios Nikolaos collapsed.
There were also problems with telecommunications throughout Thessaly and especially in Larissa and Volos.
The residents in Larissa are upset – Everyone took to the streets and squares
Central Greece was shaken by the strong earthquake of 6 Richter that occurred near Elassona and was felt as far as Attica.
With the occurrence of this great earthquake, the inhabitants of Larissa, Elassona, Trikala and other cities and villages of Thessaly were thrown out of their homes.
Wearing their masks and keeping as much distance as possible, thanks to the lockdown, the citizens preferred to stay in open spaces and squares.
Two people from Larissa were so upset by the earthquake that they fell from their balconies to be saved. According to the first information of onlarissa.gr, a man jumped into space from the second floor, while another jumped from the mezzanine. Both have not been seriously injured.
In the center of Larissa, plaster fell on vehicles.
Disturbance prevailed in other cities of Central and Northern Greece, in which the earthquake was strongly felt, such as Trikala, Kozani, Lamia, etc.
Seismologists warn that post-earthquake activity will be intense in the coming hours and urge citizens to be especially careful.
Speaking to in.gr, Efthymios Lekkas spoke about a very strong earthquake that could possibly cause problems. “The area has an increased seismicity. We are monitoring the phenomenon and we can not yet say if it is the main earthquake, “he stressed.
The professor of Seismology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Costas Papazachos, did not rule out the possibility of a very strong aftershock of the same magnitude as the current 6 magnitude one, adding that several aftershocks will follow. In fact, Mr. Papazachos stressed that in no case should the schools be open tomorrow. He also added that people should be careful and stay out of their homes for a few hours. Executives of the competent directorate of the Ministry of Infrastructure together with ladders of engineers are preparing to go to the area.
He even said that schools and public services should not operate today.
Full mobilization of the state mechanism
By order of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Undersecretary to the Minister of State, Theodoros Livanios, the Secretary General of Infrastructure, George Karagiannis and the Chief of GEETHA, Konstantinos Floros, go to the earthquake area.
The Deputy Chief of the Fire Brigade, Iakovos Kleftospyros, and the National Commander of Civil Protection, Athanasios Dimakogiannis, also visit the area.
In fact, at 4 in the afternoon, an extraordinary meeting will be held at the town hall of Tyrnavos under Mr. Libanios.
The Civil Protection for the 6 Richter earthquake in Elassona made an announcement.
According to the Civil Protection, according to the records so far, the earthquake caused material damage to a house in the area of Mesochori, Elassona, where a rescue operation was successfully completed a while ago, as well as to a school in the area of Damasi Tyrnavou, while no injuries were reported.
The first autopsies in buildings and houses to assess the damage from the seismic vibration of magnitude 6 on the Richter scale, focusing southwest of Elassona, begin immediately.
The damage is recorded by engineers of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, according to the instructions of the Minister Mr. Costas Karamanlis and under the coordination of the Secretary General of Infrastructure Mr. George Karagiannis, who participates in the government mission in the region
The Prime Minister was informed
According to information, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis receives a real-time picture of the situation in the area affected by Egelados.
In an open line with the crisis management team, it is informed about the ongoing operation of the forces that have rushed to the area but also about the implementation of the plan for further strengthening of the authorities that are on the spot.
From the office of the Prime Minister there was communication with the Governor of Thessaly, Costas Agorastos and the mayors of the region while there is also constant communication with the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection and Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalia in order to provide any assistance needed with human life first.