Historic Earthquakes: Tectonic Summary

Magnitude 6.3 GREECE
2003 August 14 05:14:55 UTC

On a broad scale the tectonics of Greece is controlled by the northward migration of the Arabian and African Plates, and the counterclockwise rotation and westward translation of the Anatolian-Aegean block, relative to a fixed Eurasian Plate. The Anatolian-Aegean block is a lens shaped block that stretches west-to-east from near the west coast of Greece to eastern Turkey, and north-to-south from the Black Sea to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Near the Anatolian-Aegean block's northern border, it is moving westward relative to the Eurasian Plate at roughly 3 cm per year. This recent earthquake occurred in northern Greece, a highly seismic and rapidly deforming region. There is a magnitude 5 or larger earthquake about every two years within 60 km of this recent earthquake.

Significant Earthquakes in Greece
Date Magnitude Fatalities Damage
1995-06-15 6.5 26 Estimate of $660 million
1995-05-13 6.6 None 5,000 buildings destroyed and 7,000 others damaged in central and northern Greece estimated $450 million
1986-09-13 6.0 20 1,500 buildings damaged or destroyed
1981-02-24 6.7 16 Considerable damage in the Athens-Corinth area
1978-06-20 6.6 50 Considerable damage in the Thessaloniki area
1965-04-05 6.2 18 Between $5 to $25 million
1954-04-30 7.1 31 Between $1 to $5 million
1953-08-12 7.2 800 More than $25 million