Cyprus shaken by 4.5 magnitude quake

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Cyprus was shaken on Friday by a quake measuring 4.5 in magnitude; there was no damage or injuries reported, the Geological Survey Department confirmed.

The quake was recorded on Friday at 05:58 am with an epicentre in the sea 50 kilometres west-northwest of Polis Chrysochous at a depth of 23 kilometres.

It was largely felt in the Paphos district, slightly in Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia districts. No serious structural damages or casualties have been reported.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, the Deputy Director of the Department of Geological Survey Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou said the quake took place in the same area where a larger 6.5 quake shook the island on 11 January.

He added the department is examining whether it is a new earthquake or an aftershock from that quake.

The department said, “it is being assessed as an aftershock of the strong earthquake of 6.5 magnitude of 11 January 2022.”

A 5.3 magnitude quake was recorded on 5 January, again in the same area.

Asked whether the recent seismic activity could be a warning sign of a bigger quake to come, Hadjigeorgiou said the island is situated in an earthquake-prone area, and quakes can occur at any time.

“Earthquakes, of any intensity, can happen at any time. We cannot predict where they will occur. That’s why we should be vigilant and act calmly if they do occur”.

Hadjigeorgiou added that experiencing regular tremors that are not destructive is a positive sign, as this means that seismic energy is being released without creating a big tremor.

“This does not entirely write off the possibility of a major earthquake at one of the active fault lines in the region,” said the seismologist.

11 January earthquake measuring 6.5 in magnitude was one of the strongest quakes ever recorded in Cyprus, with the Geological Survey Department warning of possible powerful aftershocks.

The powerful tremor struck Cyprus at 3.08 am and was the second strongest quake in the island’s history.

It equalled the biggest earthquake to rock the island.

A 6.5 on the Richter scale quake struck Paphos in October 1996, when two people died – the strongest in the previous 100 years.

No injuries or serious structural damage was reported as the epicentre was in the sea off Cyprus, some 50 km northwest of Polis Chrysochous at a depth of 25 km.