The seismologists will remain on alert for the next 24 hours in order to monitor the evolution of the earthquakes that have occurred since last Saturday night off Halkidiki, in the sea area of Mount Athos.
The historicity of the area and the strong earthquakes of the past keep the experts on alert, despite the estimates that the main earthquake was, most likely, the one recorded with a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale.
“Most likely, the main earthquake was that of 5.2 on the Richter scale. So far, it is not considered a disturbing situation but due to the history of the area we are not allowed to be completely reassuring. There is no evidence that something bad is coming, but a caution is needed because of the history,” said Manolis Skordilis, professor of Seismology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), on the ANA-MPA radio station “Agency 104.9 Fm.”
Skordilis reminded that the area of Mount Athos has given strong earthquakes in 1905 with 7.5 Richter, as well as in 1982 and 1983 with magnitudes of 7 and 6.8, respectively. “In 1905 we had a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the region in 1982 and a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in 1983. All of them were at a distance of 25 to 45 km from the epicenter of the current earthquake. We are practically talking about the same tectonic formation and that is why we are cautious”, he said characteristically.
The professor of Seismology stated that there were damages from the strong earthquakes, in the past, in monasteries of Mount Athos, while they had been felt in the city of Thessaloniki despite the fact that it is 150 km away from the epicenter. “The 7.5 magnitude earthquake was very strong and there was damage to the monasteries. The earthquakes of ’82 and ’83 were also felt in Thessaloniki. The vibration was a little slower, in the sense that the seismic waves had longer periods, but was felt. “In areas that are closer, earthquakes of this magnitude can become really dangerous.”
As for the possibility of other faults in the area of Mount Athos to be activated by the vibrations that currently took place Skordilis described it as “completely unlikely, because the earthquake is relatively small and can not affect other areas.”
The seismologists will monitor the phenomenon for the next 24 hours and according to the professor, “earthquakes of magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale are expected to arrive with one or less units difference from its magnitude. In this context, an earthquake like the one in the morning with a magnitude of 4.8, although a little strong for an earthquake, is not something special that could cause concern.”