The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake at a depth of 16.7 km, in beneath the Ionian Sea to the west of the island of Zakinthos, slightly before 1.45 am local time on Thursday 22 February 2018 (slightly before 11.45 pm on Wednesday 21 February GMT) . No damage or injuries have been reported following this event, but people have reported feeling the event on the islands of Zakinths and Ionia Nisea.
The approximate location of the 22 February 2018 Ionian Sea Earthquake. USGS.
The Ionian Sea overlies the boundary between the Aegean Sea Plate, which underlies southern Greece, and the African Plate, which underlies most of the Mediterranean. The African Plate is moving northward relative to the Aegean Sea Plate, and is being subducted beneath it along the Hellenic Trench, which runs from the Ionian Sea to the south and west of the Peloponnese and then to the south of Crete. This is not a smooth process, as the plates frequently stick together then break apart once the pressure has built up sufficiently, leading to (fairly frequent) Earthquakes.
The extent of the Hellenic Trench. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica eVulcanologia.
Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
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