Mon, 19 Apr 2021

LARISSA, Greece: Central Greece was struck by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on Wednesday, which was also felt in nearby Albania and North Macedonia, as well as in Kosovo and Montenegro.

Reports from the area said many Greeks were choosing to sleep outdoors Wednesday night, rather than returning to their homes, as they feared additional earthquakes.

The quake hit near the central city of Larissa. Other than a man hurt by falling debris, no injuries were reported.

Damage was confined to cracks in the structures of old houses and buildings, as well as some walls that collapsed.

However, a school built in 1938 in the village of Damasi collapsed.

"The teachers kept their cool and the pupils stuck to the emergency drill, and everyone got out okay," headmaster Grigoris Letsios told Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during a video call. "The building will be condemned now...We'll need a new school."

The army has erected tents and is serving meals at a nearby soccer field in Damasi. Town officials have asked to remain outside their homes until they can be inspected.

Aftershocks measuring up to 5.2 magnitude were later recorded in the area.

"Have you seen how trees move when the wind blows? That's how the houses moved," Damasi resident Vangelis Mouseris said, as reported by the Associated Press.

"I stood still like a statue. I wondered whose house would fall? The neighbor's house? My house? I've never felt something like this before," he added.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute reported the earthquake struck at 12:16 p.m.

Following the earthquake, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offered assistance to Greece, as did the foreign minister of Albania.

Greece lies in a region well-known for its recurring earthquakes. In October, an earthquake hit the eastern Greek Aegean island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast. Two students were killed by the quake in Samos and at least 75 people died in Turkey.

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