Sunday 21 July 2019

Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake on the Attic Peninsula, Greece,

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake at a depth of 10.0 km, roughly 3 km to the northeast of the town of Magoula on the Attic Peninsula of Greece, slightly before 2.15 pm local time (slightly before 11.15 am GMT) on Friday 19 July 2019 . No injuries have been reported following this event, though some damage to buildings has occurred, and the event was felt across much of southern Greece.

A collapsed building in the Port of Piraeus near Athens, following the 19 July 2019 Attic Peninsula Earthquake. Petros Giannakouris/AP.

The Attic Peninsula is to the north of 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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