Thousands of people spent the night outdoors late Wednesday after a powerful earthquake was felt across the region, damaging homes and public buildings.
The magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck at 12.16pm (local time) near the central city of Larissa and there was structural damage, mainly to old houses, as walls collapsed. One man was hurt by the falling debris but there were no serious injuries.
The 1938 stone-built school collapsed in Damasi as 63 students attended classes. “The teachers kept their cool and the pupils stuck to the emergency drill,” principal Grigoris Letsios sait on a video call with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “The building will be condemned now. We’ll need a new school.”
Greece’s emergency services rushed to the area to assist. The army set up tents and food kitchens at a nearby soccer field as people stayed outside their homes until they could be inspected. The fire department received various calls to deal with medical emergencies, helping patients to get hospital access.
Aftershocks measured 5.2 magnitudes keeping people on edge.
The tremors could be felt as far as neighbouring Albania and North Macedonia, even Kosovo and Montenegro.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglou and Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka both called Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias to offer assistance.
Greece lies in a seismically active region with the vast majority of earthquakes causing little or no damage. Last October, however, an earthquake struck the easter Greek Aegean island of Samos and nearby Turkish coast killing two high school students in Greece and 75 people in Turkey.
On 7 September, 1999, a deadly quake near Athens killed 143 people and left many homeless.