February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Eerie sounds coming from underground disturb experts after earthquakes in Lesvos

Greek seismologists are concerned about a series of eerie underground sounds on the island of Lesvos after intense seismic activity in the region. These fears were intensified after a new strong earthquake occurred on January 10 at 09:38 am.

New earthquake strength 4.8 points on the Richter scale, which occurred just five kilometers east-southeast of the town of Mythymna, occurred three days after the first strong shock of 4.9 on the Richter scale on January 7, Saturday.

Seismologists watch this phenomenon with caution for three reasons:

  • First, as they explain, the possibility of a larger earthquake cannot be ruled out, given that powerful earthquakes have not been recorded in the area for about 150 years.
  • Second, they are not sure if there is a new fault in the plate, adding that even if it is a major earthquake, there is always a strong aftershock further north in another city center that could severely damage another settlement.
  • Thirdly, the severe seismic history of the region is also another worrying factor.

An incomprehensible and constant rumble emanating from the bowels of the earth after regular earthquakes frightens residents. The morning earthquake was felt throughout the island and especially in the villages of the northern part of Lesvost. The tremors had a long duration and were accompanied by a loud rumble, which further alarmed the inhabitants due to the small depth of the hearth. Residents of the island reportedly felt the intense rumble of the ground continuously for several days.

Analyzing the deafening roar phenomenon, Efthymios Lekkas, president of the Antiseismic Planning and Protection Organization, stressed that this is an unusual phenomenon, adding that it usually occurs during surface earthquakes and especially when we are near earthquake epicenters.

These are small cracks in ophiolite rocks that correspond to very small seismic vibrations that are not recorded. This causes a prolonged low rumble and frightens the inhabitants. The effect of deep sound depends on where we are, he explained, including the structure of our house, surrounding buildings in the area, and urban development.

The terrifying rumbling that accompanies the earthquake, Mr. Lekkas recalls, was also noted during the strong earthquake in Arkalohori in Crete on September 27, 2021, as well as in the Zarakes region in Euboea. The professor, among other things, said that this is a very positive sign – it is better to have such small earthquakes that do not cause alarm, but they make us be on the alert.

He concluded by emphasizing that “we are still not sure whether the earthquake was a force 4.9 points on the Richter scale last Saturday was also a major earthquake”, expressing his concern about the development of this phenomenon.

Speaking generally about the duration of an earthquake, the professor said that this is the first clue an earthquake gives about its size. In particular, he said that an earthquake lasting 3-4 seconds is not a cause for concern. If the duration of seismic vibrations is 10-15 seconds, then the earthquake will have a large magnitude.

Meanwhile, seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos also does not exclude a stronger shock than the 4.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 7. He remains cautious about whether it was the main one.

Research director of the Institute of Geodynamics and member of the Seismic Risk Committee Gerasimos Papadopoulos, speaking at ERT on the morning of a new earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, expressed his concern, stating: “4.8 is almost 4.9, which was at first earthquake, three days ago. So we’re not quite sure yet. Doubts remain as to whether it was a 4.9 major or not. I think we’ve got more seismic activity ahead of us, and I want a lot of attention from all points of view.”

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