A strong earthquake has struck central Greece, sending people near the epicenter running from their homes in panic, as tremors were felt across the country and as far away as the capitals of neighboring Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro.
Wednesday’s earthquake magnitude was 6.2, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). It struck just after midday and was at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles), EMSC said.
The epicenter was 20km south of Elassona, a town almost 400km from the capital Athens, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.
In the city of Larissa, which is 40km south of Elassona, people rushed out of their homes into the streets. Some realised they did not have a mask and returned inside.
Larissa resident Dimitris, 46, told Al Jazeera: “I was driving and everything starting shaking. It was very scary.”
Giorgos, 45, who also lives in Larissa, said: “I thought the floor was going to collapse. It was going on and on, the trees were shaking like crazy. I didn’t know what to do.”
Parents rushed to schools to check on their children. Some residents reported damage to their household items.
The situation in the town was calm shortly afterwards.
Greek seismologist Vassilis Karathanasis told state television that the tremor was felt across the country.
Numerous aftershocks also rattled the area, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9.
The Civil Protection agency reported landslides had occurred in the region, and authorities were assessing for further damage.
Greece lies in a highly seismically active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries.
Last October, an earthquake that struck the eastern Greek Aegean island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast killed two people on Samos and more than 100 people in Turkey. Here