Earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit Cyprus early Tuesday morning

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck the island of Cyprus early Tuesday morning.

The powerful earthquake that happened at around 3:08am on Tuesday and lasted for almost a minute is one of the strongest quakes recorded in Cyprus.

The epicentre was in the sea off Cyprus, 12.86 kilometers off Paphos in the Mediterranean and 5.06 kilometers deep in the sea. The European Mediterranean Seismological Center also announced that the earthquake was 2 kilometers deep.

The earthquake, which was felt across the island especially in Paphos district in south Cyprus was also felt in other countries including, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Egypt.

By 5.30 am a series of after-shocks, with a maximum magnitude of 3.1 were recorded. Aftershock can be recorded up to a month after the initial quake.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Tuesday’s quake bring to memory of a similar earthquake of 5.7 magnitude that was recorded in the area in February 1995. Two fatalities were recorded and several houses collapsed or were damaged in Paphos villages.

Cyprus is situated in a seismogenic zone but not used to high-intensity earthquakes. The coastline of Cyprus, stretching from Phafos to Famagusta, is most prone to earthquakes. Annually the coasts of Cyprus are subjected to minor earthquakes which have no adverse effect on the population.

The highest registered in recent years was a magnitude of 6.3 in 1996 but it caused little damage.

Earthquakes are natural phenomena, which Man cannot avoid. 

In North Cyprus, the earthquake cased panic among residents, especially students in Lefke who came out of their buildings and refused to go inside.

Some images were circulated on social media showing some damaged caused by the earthquake but TRNC Civil Defense Organization said they have not yet received any notice of any building damage as a result of the earthquake.

In south Cyprus, a resident said “The nightmare of the earthquake came to life and literally caught us napping.” Another one from Paphos told Cyprus Mail that the quake “was very bad” and shook his whole house. “We were worried about an after shake, so we gathered outside for a while. In fact, we all took to social media messaging family and friends to see if everyone was okay,” he said.

The Cyprus director of the geological survey department Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou said this was one of the largest earthquakes in Cyprus and explained that statistically there is one earthquake in the specific area every year.

There is a chance that another, larger earthquake will be triggered. The likelihood of this is low, but elevated. Stay safe and avoid damaged buildings and unstable slopes,” Dr Judith Hubbard, a structural geologist with a focus on earthquake hazards, tweeted after the earthquake.

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