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Earthquakes in Cyprus for the last 120 years – Who was the strongest and when did the tsunami occur?

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Earthquakes in Cyprus for the last 120 years - Who was the strongest and when did the tsunami cause

On the occasion of the weak seismic vibrations that occurred recently in Cyprus, we searched for the strongest earthquakes that hit our island.

In data provided by the Department of Geological Survey, we identified the strongest earthquakes on the island from 1900 until today.


  • On January 5, 1900 there was a 5.8 R earthquake, focusing on the center of the island. The earthquake was particularly strong and damaging. It was felt throughout the eastern Mediterranean due to its relatively large focal depth.
  • On August 27, 1903, a 5.3 R earthquake focused on Limassol, while according to the data it was strong and damaging. It was felt throughout the territory of Cyprus.
  • On February 23, 1906, a strong earthquake struck the island and caused significant damage in Limassol and Kolossi. It was 5.6 R in size and focused on Limassol.
  • On September 29, 1918 a strong earthquake of 6.2 R occurred with a focus between Cyprus and the coast of Levantine. It was felt all over the island, especially in Larnaca and Famagusta, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. It was recorded in 23 seismographs.
  • An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale, which was centered in Famagusta and was felt mainly in the south-eastern part of the island, causing minor damage, was recorded on February 18, 1924.
  • A strong local earthquake hit on December 12, 1927, the area of Limassol with a strong aftershock. The quake caused significant damage to buildings in almost the entire province of Limassol and was 5.3 R.
  • On May 9, 1930, a catastrophic earthquake occurred that mainly hit the province of Paphos. It caused damage to churches and houses in Paphos, Pegeia and Emba and caused landslides in Nata and the Diocese of Paphos. It was 5.5 R in size.
  • Minor damage in the Saitta area occurred in the 5.1 R earthquake on July 25, 1930.
  • On June 26, 1937, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook western Cyprus, destroying houses and churches in Pachna, Platres, Pentalia, Omodos, Arsos, Salami and causing landslides in Arminou.
  • On July 24, 1940, a 5.2 R local earthquake was recorded with a focus on the center of the island, which caused minor damage, especially in Lakatamia and Pallouriotissa.
  • A very strong local earthquake that was felt throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, was recorded on January 20, 1941, focusing on the east of the island, measuring 6.5 Richter. It caused significant damage in the province of Famagusta (human injuries, animal deaths and house collapses in Paralimni and Famagusta), damage in Nicosia and Larnaca and also caused a small tsunami that hit the coast of Israel.
  • On October 15, 1952, an earthquake occurred in the south of Cyprus, causing minor damage in Limassol, Arakapa, Vavla and Larnaca. It was 5.2 R in size.
  • On September 10, 1953, western Cyprus was hit by a strong earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. According to the data, it was fierce and destructive. 40 people were killed, 100 were injured and 4,000 became homeless. 158 villages and towns were affected. Most of the damage was caused by landslides and surface cracks. 1,600 houses were destroyed and another 10,000 houses and public buildings were damaged. Five villages (Stroumbi, Kidasi, Lapithiou, Axylou, Fasoula) were reduced to rubble and another 105 suffered minor damage. At the time of the earthquake, many farmers were out in the open, thus avoiding further losses. The quakes also caused significant damage in Limassol, where soil liquefaction was also observed. A small tsunami was also observed off the coast of Paphos. Earthquakes were felt in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Kastelorizo, Rhodes and Turkey. Dozens of aftershocks followed for about a year.
  • On September 15, 1961 there was a devastating earthquake centered in the sea area of Larnaca, which was felt almost all over the island. Minor damage was caused in the southeastern part of the island. It was 5.7 R in size.
  • On March 28, 1984, an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale caused panic and minor damage in Larnaca and Kiti. It was felt in Limassol and Nicosia.
  • On February 23, 1995, a strong earthquake of 5.9 R was recorded, focusing on the west of Cyprus. The earthquake was catastrophic in the province of Paphos, where two people died. Several houses collapsed in the villages of Pano Arodes and Miliou. Damage was also caused to the villages of Peristerona, Steni, Gialia, Argaka, Pomos, Pyrgos, Lefka, Neo Chorio Akama, Latsi and Poli Chrysochous.
  • The strongest earthquake in the last 120 years was recorded on October 9, 1996. It is a 6.8 R earthquake in the southwestern part of Cyprus. It caused panic among the residents of Paphos and Limassol, as well as tenants of apartment buildings in Nicosia, Larnaca and Paralimni. Two people died of secondary causes and 20 were slightly injured. Limited damage was caused, mainly in Paphos and Limassol.
  • Finally, on April 15, 2015, a 5.6 R earthquake was recorded, focusing on the sea area west of Kissonerga in Paphos. The earthquake was felt throughout Cyprus: Very strongly felt in the province of Paphos, especially in the epicenter, strongly felt in the province of Limassol, slightly felt in the province of Nicosia and was felt by some residents in the provinces of Larnaca and Famagusta. It caused limited damage to buildings in the province of Paphos. A large number of aftershocks occurred in the following days.

Source: politis.com.cy

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