Magnitude 6.9 earthquake Kamariotissa, Greece Saturday 24 May

Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred in southern Greece, in the northern Aegean Sea on 24th
May 2014. The earthquake occurred at a shallow depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The region is
tectonically complex and has seen many earthquakes in the past. It is one of Europe’s most
tectonically active regions. Early reports suggest that shaking caused by the earthquake resulted
in a number of injuries and structural damage to buildings.
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
Where was the earthquake felt?
Most significant shaking was felt within a 300 km radius
of the earthquakes’ epicentre. The strongest recorded
felt intensity VI (strong shaking).The earthquake was felt
nearby countries including Turkey (including Istanbul),
Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, (including Bucharest), Serbia,
Distribution of shaking reports (image from EMSC)
Not felt by many people unless in favourable conditions.
II. Weak
Felt only by a few people at best, especially on the upper floors of buildings. Delicately
suspended objects may swing.
III. Slight
Felt quite noticeably by people indoors, especially on the upper floors of buildings.
Many to do not recognise it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly.
Vibration similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated.
IV. Moderate
Felt indoors by many people, outdoors by a few people during the day. At night, some
V. Rather
Felt outside by most, may not be felt by some people in non-favourable conditions.
Dishes and windows may break and large bells will ring. Vibrations like train passing
close to house.
VI. Strong
Felt by all; many frightened and run outdoors, walk unsteadily. Windows, dishes,
glassware broken; books fall off shelves; some heavy furniture moved or overturned; a
few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight.
VII. Very
Difficult to stand; furniture broken; damage negligible in building of good design and
construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage
in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. Noticed by people
driving motor cars.
Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable in ordinary substantial
buildings with partial collapse. Damage great in poorly built structures. Fall of chimneys,
factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture moved.
IX. Violent
General panic; damage considerable in poorly designed structures, well designed
frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial
collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.
X. Intense
Some well build wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures
destroyed with foundation. Rails bent.
XI. Extreme
Few, if any masonry structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly.
Total destruction – everything is destroyed. Lines of sight and level distorted. Objects
thrown into the air. The ground moves in waves or ripples. Large amounts of rock move
position. Landscape altered, or leveled by several meters. In some cases, even the
routes of rivers are changed.
Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
Past earthquakes in the region
Moderate-sized, shallow
earthquakes in this part of the
Aegean Sea are not unusual.
The 24th May 2014
earthquake, however, is the
largest to have occurred in
this region since records
began in 1970.
Prior to May 2014, the largest
recorded events were two
M6.7 earthquakes in 1975 and
Historic seismicity (since 1970) showing magnitudes of greater than 5 in the region.
The earthquake epicentre is indicated by the red circle. Earthquake locations from the USGS
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
What caused this earthquake to occur?
The Eastern Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of
the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. The Northern Anatolian
Fault (NAF) is a major fault line caused by the collision of the Arabian plate and the westward escape of
Anatolia (Turkey). The NAF separates the Anatolian/Aegean plates and the Eurasian plate and results from
the westward escape of Turkey resulting from the collision of the Arabian continent. The 24/05/14
earthquake likely occurred along a westernmost strand of the Northern Anatolian Fault. This is consistent
with right-lateral strike-slip faulting along the west-east trending fault plane as shown by the earthquake’s
focal mechanism.
USGS focal mechanism of the
earthquake. Arrows show the
most likely sense of faulting
along the west-east trending
fault plane.
Schematic illustration of
right-lateral strike-slip
Tectonic setting
of the Eastern
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
So far, over 70 aftershocks have been recorded by the EMSC. Most of these have been small (M < 4), but the
largest aftershock was a magnitude 5.0 earthquake that occurred just six minutes after the mainshock. Most
aftershocks have so far occurred to the east of the mainshock epicentre. More moderate aftershocks can be
Map of aftershocks recorded (red
circles). The mainshock location is
indicated by the red star.
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
Recordings of the earthquake from the British Geological Survey
seismometer network
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake
Kamariotissa, Greece
Saturday 24 May 2014 at 09:25:03 UTC
Find out more …
USGS webpage for this earthquakes
EMSC webpage for this earthquake:
BGS (British Geological Survey) – seismology and earthquakes – frequently asked questions
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) – learning about earthquakes
UK School Seismology Project – classroom activities, videos and support documents
USGS (United States Geological Survey) – FAQs, glossary, posters, animations
EMSC (European Mediterranean Seismological Centre)
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