A temblor of at least 6.1 on the Richter Scale hit the western Greek island of Lefkada on Tuesday. Local reports indicated that buildings had been damaged and one person was killed. The earthquake was felt across western Greece, with residents on Lefkada and nearby Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia rushing out of their houses. The fire department was sending rescue crews to Lefkada.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 and occurred at 9:10 a.m. (0710 GMT) about 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Athens. However, the U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 6.5.
Authorities had received reports of one woman killed by the collapse of a wall in her workplace, Ionian Islands Regional Governor Theodoros Galiatsatos said. There were reports of damage to the island’s road network from landslides, and authorities were waiting for more detailed information from the fire department. Aftershocks were also hitting the island.
Earthquakes are common in Greece, which is one of the world’s most seismically active areas. More than 100 people died in a severe quake near Athens in 1999.
Those temblors stirred memories of the catastrophic 1953 quakes that flattened nearly all the islands’ structures, killing hundreds of people. The Ionian is a seismically active area, and new buildings on the islands are constructed to strict anti-seismic standards. In January, 2014, Kefalonia was struck by a series of strong earthquakes, two of them caused damage and minor injuries sans fatalities.