Strong earthquake in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, close to Lemnos and the Turkish coast (Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria)

Last update: January 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm by By

Earthquake overview : A strong earthquake occurred approx. 25 km from the Greek island of Lemnos and also at several tens of km from the Turkish coast.
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Turkey-only earthquake list

Keep this page open to read more details when they become available
Most recent information on top – Start of the article at the bottom

Update 18:06 UTC : Based on the shaking videos we have been watching so far (most of them at +100 km from the epicenter), we can conclude that the shaking was rather limited. The only action one is seeing on these videos is people who feel the earthquake and exiting shops and houses. We have decided not to embed them so far as they are not giving an added value.

Update 16:35 UTC : No news on eventual damages so far (which we do not expect). The beachballs in the image below show very clearly the direction of the clearly shallow strike-slip earthquake.  This is also the reason why the shaking was well felt in Turkey, parts of Greece and Bulgaria.

Image courtesy EMSC

Image courtesy EMSC

Update 15:54 UTC : Since the mainshock, the epicenter has been struck by many aftershocks, so far a M3.8 was the strongest.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 17.01.25

One of the Limnos (Lemnos) beaches – image courtesy Adiak

Update 15:52 UTC : Turkish seismological Institute which has instruments close to the epicenter is reporting a Magnitude Ml 6.2 at 8.8 km. More dangerous than earlier data. Turkish Fire corpses are currently assessing the situation but have not reported damages or injuries yet.
The Greece press mentions an earthquake and also that Moudros (Lemnos) is at a 34 km distance from the epicenter but has apparently no further details.
At ER we think that if Lemnos has no damage (which we do not know so far), this earthquake will not cause serious damage in general.

Update 15:35 UTC : We have heard no specific information about the nearby island and coast, only that internet and mobile telecommunications were very difficult in Turkey. During a strong earthquake, which is almost felt all in many countries, it is normal that this happens. the solution is simple, but clearly no government or telecommunications companies want to apply it ! Why ? What has to be done ? Simply cut voice traffic except for emergency lines. All the rest can use their Text (SMS) which makes far more traffic possible. No congestion will be attained in that case !

Update 15:04 UTC : To our Bulgarian friends : they definitely have felt this earthquake. A good sign is also that the shaking lasted in between 3 and 10 seconds, which is considerably less than during very strong and damaging other earthquakes. The shorter the shaking lasts, the less chance on serious damage and injuries.

Update 15:00 UTC : Due to the earthquake internet and phone connections are experiencing problems in the Turkish cities. Until now and as expected, there are no reports of serious damage, lets hope it remains like this. The earthquake was very shallow but as the epicenter was below the seabed, the shaking on land and on the islands will have been limited.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 16.17.54

Update 14:49 UTC : USGS theoretical calculations are reporting a max. MMI of VII near the epicenter, but probably less on the islands. So far only a MMI V to VI has been seen which is a good sign. MMI V to MMVI (moderate to strong shaking) will lead to eventually minor damage like cracks in walls.

Update 14:46 UTC : The island of Lemnos, Greece is closest to the epicenter, but this does not mean that the strongest shaking will have been felt at Lemnos. It depends also of the propagation of the earthquake wave.  Too soon to find out, but if people living at Lemnos or close to the epicenter (radius of 40 to km) can tell us how the earthquake was felt, a lot will be clarified.

Update 14:34 UTC : ER calls this earthquake moderately dangerous for the islands in the direct area of the epicenter. Not strong enough for a tsunami. The earthquake was felt as far as Istanbul and Sofia

Update 14:25 UTC :  The earthquake struck in Mediterranean waters. Very close to Myrina island.

Update : the first preliminary reports are mentioning a M5.9 earthquake off the Turkey coast probably felt in many countries

Based on an increasing number of visitors joining us from Bulgaria, we believe that an earthquake was felt. When you are one of the people who experienced this earthquake, please fill in the form behind “I Felt A (not Listed) Earthquake”. Thank you.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 15.28.08
Listen to the earthquake – Soundquakes by flyrok.org

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw 5.7
UTC Time : 2013-01-08 14:16:09 UTC
Local time at epicenter : 2013-01-08 16:16:09 UTC+02:00 at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.9 km
Geo-location(s) :
Approx. 25 km from Lemnos, Greece
47km (29mi) WSW of Bozcaada, Turkey
67km (42mi) WSW of Ezine, Turkey
80km (50mi) NW of Mitilini, Greece
89km (55mi) SW of Canakkale, Turkey
246km (153mi) NE of Athens, Greece

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Shaking map
Scientific parameters
Human impact map

SUPERFAST earthquake NOTIFICATION TWEETS up to your own MAGNITUDE choice

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 23:59 2.4 9 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 23:49 2.7 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 23:35 2.3 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 23:10 2.4 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 21:16 2.7 13 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 21:12 3.3 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 21:02 2.6 9 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 20:46 3.4 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 20:18 2.3 12 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 20:13 3.0 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 20:07 3.0 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:55 3.1 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:33 2.6 9 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:30 3.4 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:18 2.7 11 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:15 2.9 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 19:06 2.8 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 18:18 3.2 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 17:57 3.3 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 17:46 2.8 5 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 17:17 3.2 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 17:02 2.6 11 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:43 3.4 5 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:36 3.2 6 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:26 2.6 7 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:19 2.5 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:17 2.3 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:14 2.8 13 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:10 3.5 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 16:03 3.1 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:59 2.5 7 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:56 3.4 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:53 2.8 9 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:47 2.3 12 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:42 2.9 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:38 3.5 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:33 3.3 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:17 2.6 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:12 3.0 5 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:09 3.2 5 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:02 3.3 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 15:00 3.6 8 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:58 3.5 2 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:56 3.6 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:50 3.6 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:48 3.0 4 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:45 3.5 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:39 3.2 5 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:37 3.4 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:34 3.6 2 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:32 3.7 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:28 3.3 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:23 3.2 60 MAP I Felt It
USGS Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:16 5.7 10 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:16 5.8 13 MAP I Felt It
  • Sofia, Bulgaria - Slight shake
  • Bulgaria, Plovdiv - I am on the 5th floor & just felt very weak shaking
  • Istanbul, Turkey - Moderate Shaking
  • Sofia - I was in 10 storey building (at the last storey) and suddenly i felt this very weak (east-west) shaking.
  • Istanbul - I was sitting at the table when it went shaking I went to the window and saw furniture and lamps shaking and strange sound was coming from the walls. it finished in about a minute or two.
  • Drama Gr - i live on the 4rth floor ,, a3-4 seconds shaking
  • istanbul,turkey - twice shakes, not continued
  • İstanbul - soft
  • Sofia - Like swinging
  • Bucharest - very weak shaking on 15 floor
  • Bulgaria Sofia - it was really excyting
  • Istanbul - I feel this Just 8 seconds
  • istanbul - I have felt it
  • Plovdiv, Bulgaria - I was in 6 floor of 10 floor industrialized apartment block when i felt light shaking for 15-20 sek.
  • Bulgaria, Sofia - I felt a strong physical discomfort, then I saw lightly shaking the lights. There are no visible signs of an earthquake, but the feeling of discomfort remained quite some time now.
  • Zajecar - 9th floor, light and under 10 seconds shaking, 30km north of epicenter
  • Sofia, Bulgaria - I felt that my head is spinning.
  • istanbul - ne sallandık be
  • Burgas - usetih zametresenieto
  • Bucharest - at 9th floor
  • Sofia - Sofia - we felt it, too very strong.
  • Borovets - lighly shaking only orizontal shake, no damages.
  • Piraeus, Greece - Light shaking, roof lights moved
  • Sofia,Bulgaria - Light shaking.The water in my aqarium shaked.
  • Istanbul, Turkey - I was sitting down and the chair shook, and our television shook as well. I was terrified.
  • самоков - врати на шкаф се отвориха
  • Mithymna - Laptop was shaking on my table, lasted quite long, at least 20 seconds.. (via emsc)
  • Kuruaba, Turkey - I was in the old part of the house (traditional mud and stone with no foundation), on the ground floor where you can usually feel a tiny bit of an earthquake - much more is usually felt upstairs. My husband and son were in the new extension which is stone and concrete, with reinforced steel and a proper foundation. This was the first time we have felt anything there. The whole house is built on rock.
  • Mitilini, Greece - The lamp hanging from the ceiling was swaying but not considerably, it lasted more or about 20 seconds. (via emsc)
  • istanbul, asian side - it wasn't very strong, but i definitely felt it.
  • Alexandropoulos - 2-5 sec σχετικά δυνατό κούνημα και στη συνέχεια για αρκετά δευτερόλεπτα ένα είδος ταλάντωσης το οποίο με δυσκολία μπορούσα να καταλάβω αν ήταν σεισμός ή φαντασία μου μέχρι που παρατήρησα αντικείμενα που ταλαντευόταν ελαφρά. (via emsc)
  • Izmir, Turkey - Thıs was the second day in a row I felt one. I have lived here only a few months - and dıdn't feel a quake until yesterday. Thıs makes it two days in a row. (via emsc)
  • Athens - ειχε ελαφρια ταλαντοση ηταν σαν βαρκα δεμενη στο λυμανι με ελαφρι κυματακι και χρονο 5 sec
  • Athens - Weak but long enough shake
  • Bucharest - Felt it at 15th floor, made me very dizzy. other people in the office felt it too making them agitated.
  • Limnos - Lasted a few seconds. Floor was trembling. Lamps swayed. Loud sound like truck passing outside. SCARY feeling
  • Maritza/Bulgaria - close to St. Zagora - A colleague said: "EARTHQUAKE! and stood up nervously." (He already told me he's as scared as a rabbit). It was my first earthquake which I sensed (I am from Austria - not really anything shaking there) and it was that weak, that I found it funny somehow. My desk lamp bobbed and the shutters outside of the windows chattered peacefully against them. I stood up and felt dizzy. I couldnt actually tell whether I was moving from my "dizzyness" or my surroundings. It lasted for 15-20 sec. Thats it.
  • EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 14:16 5.8 11 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 08:20 2.4 10 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Aegean Sea Jan 08 03:46 2.2 11 MAP I Felt It

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    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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