03/21/2020 - Earthquake in Ipeiros, Greece

Affected Population
Strong earthquake in north-western Greece damages buildings

The greek province of Epirus in the northwest of the country was hit by a strong earthquake on saturday night (March 21st, 2020). According to the geophysical institute in Athens (NOA) this quake with magnitude 5.6 was centered near the small town Parga south of the touristic island Kerkira.

This quake caused damage to several structures: According to local media, multiple houses and roads in and between the villages of Kanalaki, Glyki, Skafidoti, Skoteinos and Kipseli suffered cracks and partial collapses. Most damage was caused to unreinforced masonry buildings. 

Three people were slightly injured by falling objects and transported to Ioannina hospital for treatment. 

Shaking of this quake was felt as far as Patra (Greece), Tirana (Albania) and Skopje (North Macedonia). According to this calculation, up to 100 people were exposed to intensity VII, while 65,000 people were affected by intensity VI.

Interpretation of the damages shows that the quake lead to a maximum intensity of VII on the internationally used EMS-98 scale, which means that modern and resistent buildings are mostly unaffected while older, vulnerable structures can suffer major damages, which is consistent to our rapid disaster modelling.

Moment Tensor calculation by NOA shows that this quake resulted from a thrust fault rupture, nucleating in a depth of about 8 kilometers. This mechanism is consistent with the tectonic setting: Epinos region lays at the southern end of the Balkan Thrust and Fold belt, which marks the collision zone between and Apulian microplate (in the SW) and the Eurasian Plate (NE). Several parallel northwest-southeast striking thrust fauls stretching along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, causing high and often damaging seismicity. The most recent prominent earthquake has hit this region in 2019: The Mw6.4 Albania quake on November 26th damaged more than 95,000 structures, killing 52 people.


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Event Characteristics
Latitude 39.30 °N
Longitude 20.60 °E
Date & Time March 21, 2020, 12:46 a.m.
Magnitude mb 5.4
Depth 16 km
Last Update 2020-03-21