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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-08

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Quake Rattles Greece
  • [02] Strong Earthquake
  • [03] East Mediterranean Rocked
  • [04] Damages from the Quake
  • [05] Sharon in Coma Until Monday
  • [06] Black Hawk Crash
  • [07] Aris Defeated Olympiacos
  • [08] Winter Champion
  • [09] Draw in Xanthi
  • [10] Breather for Levadiakos
  • [11] Kallithea Played Better
  • [12] Easy Win for Atromitos
  • [13] Epiphany in Izmir

  • [01] Measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale Quake Rattles Greece

    08 Jan 2006 14:46:00 (Last updated: 08 Jan 2006 23:14:52)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A very strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale rocked Greece at 13:34, while its epicentre was located in the sea, between the islands of Crete and Kythira, 215km SW of Athens and 92km NW of Chania, Crete, and it lasted 30 seconds. According to the Director of the Athens National Observatory Geodynamics Institute, Giorgos Stavrakakis, the epicentre was located 70km below sea level, while he stressed that it was the great depth that "saved us", since a similar earthquake on land would have been disastrous, a fact seconded by all the Greek seismologists. The quake was felt throughout Greece, from Crete to Kastoria and from Rhodes to Eptanisa, as well as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Cyprus, southern Italy, FYROM and Croatia. The seismologists are closely monitoring the event. Speaking on NET's main news bulletin, G. Papadopoulos, Research director of the Athens Geodynamic Institute, said "there is no doubt this was the main quake." At the same time, there is practically no post seismic activity and none of the aftershocks was felt. According to Mr Stavrakakis, this is a regular fact for such types of earthquakes. Mr Stavrakakis ruled out the possibility of a tsunami, due to the great depth. The Civil Protection Authority, the Fire Department, the Army and the authorities have been placed on alert since the very start. The first damages reported to the Fire Department were on Kythira. Furthermore, telecommunications problems were recorded in the Prefectures of Laconia and Messinia, as well as Kythira and Crete, after the quake, but OTE (Greek Telecommunications Organisation) and the mobile phone companies attributed the fault to system overload, which was reinstated almost immediately.

    Seismologists Put Fears to Rest

    Both the Director of the Athens Geodynamics Institute, Giorgos Stavrakakis, and Seismology Professor Vassilis Papazachos put fears to rest, estimating that the 6.9 quake was the main one.

    Mr Stavrakakis declared that it was a very strong quake, and there is a 99% chance that it was the main one. He also added that he was not expecting an intense post-seismic activity, although four aftershocks, measuring between 5 and 5.5, were recorded just one hour after the earthquake.

    "The earthquake was recorded deep undersea and I think that was what saved us," he added, noting, "You realise what would have happened if the quake took place on land."

    According to Mr Stavarkakis, the tremor was located on the southern arch, where a similar magnitude quake was last recorded in 1908. "Neither the quake nor its magnitude surprised us," he added, describing the possibility of a domino effect as scenarios.

    "It was an earthquake that will go down in history as the quake that rocked the whole of Greece," he said.

    Asked whether he was expecting a stronger earthquake from the same area, he answered, "I am not worried about something like that at the moment."

    Answering to whether the Athens Geodynamics Institute had initially reported that the earthquake originated from Thessaloniki and was smaller in magnitude, he said that it was a very strong quake that rocked the country, while the Institute had to announce the magnitude within five minutes.

    On his part, Professor Vassilis Papazachos underlined that his team had predicted todays earthquake and its magnitude back in 2002, when they had published evidence in a scientific journal. According to Mr Papazachos, it looks like it was the main quake, while it was fortunate that it occurred undersea.

    He also noted that a 7.2 quake was recorded in the same area in 1906.

    According to Seismology Professor Akis Tselentis of the University of Patras, the initial reports of a smaller quake were quite natural, due to the magnitude. He also advised the people to remain calm, while he said that the State will implement all the necessary emergency measures. Mr Tselentis also added that intense post-seismic activity is expected for earthquakes over 6, while he ruled out the possibility of this not being the main quake. Finally, he added that luckily the epicentre was in the sea.

    In his statements, Mr Tselentis did not rule out the possibility of a domino effect, as a 7 magnitude quake could awaken other rifts in Greece.

    The statements made by Seismology Professor Kostas Papazachos from Thessaloniki were along the same lines. As he said, it was a strong quake, while many strong aftershocks will surely follow, but it was still early to talk about a main tremor. He further added that strong earthquakes have been recorded in the area in the past, reaching 8 on the Richter scale about a century ago.

    As per news agency Reuters, the US Geological Surveys National Earthquake Information Centre said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7.

    State on Alert

    The area is considered highly seismic, while an 8.3 quake was recorded as far back as 365 AD.

    A Ministry of Public Works crew, made up of mechanics from the Earthquake Restoration Dept, is proceeding to Kythira, where most of the damages were reported, by order of Minister Giorgos Souflias. At the same time, the Dept is on alert in order to send crews to others areas if necessary.

    "The State, the relevant agencies of the Ministries of Defence and Public Order and the Civic Protection Authority are on alert to deal with the consequences of the major earthquake recorded today," declared Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    The General Secretary of the Civil Protection Authority, Panagiotis Fourlas, and Attica regional head Charalambos Maniatis are en route to Kythira to assess the magnitude of the damages and offer assistance. Furthermore, the competent authorities are immediately proceedings with inspections of schools, to determine whether they are safe.

    30 Difficult Minutes

    A few problems were detected with the countrys telecommunications networks in the aftermath of the very strong earthquake. In the 30 minutes that followed the quake, which was felt all over Greece, phone calls were placed with difficulty while in some cases it was impossible to get through. The mobile phone network responded a bit better than land lines, as that system became overloaded.

    The problems were not related to the earthquake per se, but the fact that hundreds of thousands of calls were placed as soon as the tremor ended, resulting in a system overload. According to officials of the various phone companies, the reason for the overload was the fact that the quake was felt throughout Greece, and a great number of people tried to communicate with their friends and relatives.

    Some difficulties were recorded in calls between mobile phones, but calls between land lines were almost impossible, especially in the first 20 minutes and mainly in the southern part of Greece. The situation, however, started improving gradually, while it was completely reinstated some 30 minutes after the end of the quake.

    In an announcement, OTE (Greek Telecommunications Company) mentioned that there were no serious problems with the telecommunications network, apart from some brief and isolated cases in the areas of Sparti, Kalamata and Chani, due to the great number of calls.

    Tomorrow afternoon, the mobile phone companies will release the figures for the number of calls placed during this time period.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Strong Earthquake

    [02] Felt in Many Areas of Greece Strong Earthquake

    08 Jan 2006 13:40:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A strong earthquake, which lasted for a long time, measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was located in the sea, south of the island of Kythira, between the island and western Crete, rocked Greece at 1:34pm. The quake lasted some 30 seconds and the epicentre was located 215km SW of Athens and 92km NW of Chania, Crete. Apart from Athens, the tremor was also felt in Crete, the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Corfu, Epirus, Volos and Cyprus, while, as per the Associated Press, the quake was also felt in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. In addition, NETs correspondent in Italy announced that the quake was also felt in southern Italy, as well as Sicily. According to Professor Gerasimos Papadopoulos of the Athens Geodynamics Institute, the quake was at a great depth, which limits the possibility of a stronger aftershock. Problems were detected with the mobile phone companies and calls could not be made for some time after the earthquake. Furthermore, problems with the telecommunications are also being reported in Crete. Moreover, the president of the community of Mitata, Kythira, spoke of major damages in the area, including the collapse of old buildings and extensive damage to newer constructions, while the church is also ready to collapse. In addition, two minor injuries were reported in Chania, while damages were also reported at the airport on Kythira.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] East Mediterranean Rocked

    08 Jan 2006 17:13:00 (Last updated: 08 Jan 2006 19:32:14)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews, Anadolu, ANSA, Hina

    The 6.9 magnitude quake that rattled almost all of Greece was also felt in many Mediterranean countries and quickly made the headlines of international television stations and newspapers. The quake was felt as far as Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel, Amman in Jordan, Puglia, Sicily and Campagna in Italy. The online edition of the Jerusalem post provides information on the magnitude of the quake, adding it was also felt in Cairo, Amman in Jordan, Naples and Sicily in Italy, where there are no reports on damages. As per the article, it was rather felt in Israel. "Clarice Nassif Ransom, a USGS spokeswoman in Washington, said scientists project that as many as six million people may have felt the earthquake," reads the article.

    Felt in Tel Aviv and Haifa

    The story posted on Ynet news cited statements from Director General of the Geophysical Institute of Israel Dr. Uri Frieslander said the earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete at 1:36 p.m. "The institute received many calls by residents who felt the quake, mainly along the coast," he said.

    What is more, inhabitants in Haifa and Beer Sheva said they felt the ground tremble.

    I am located in a tall building on the eighth floor, Effie Bauman of Beer Sheva said. I felt the building move; it wasnt anything major, but everything shook. I asked the neighbors, and they all said they felt it too.

    Eli Karko of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, said he was on the computer at the time of the quake when his chair, as well as his house moved.

    As Far as Turkish Coasts and South Italy

    The Anadolu Turkish news agency also referred to the quake, noting it was also felt in the western coasts of Turkey. Online newspaper zaman cited the US Geological Institute, which said the quake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.

    The quake made the headlines of Italian news agency ANSA's website.

    Strong earthquake in Greece, without fears of tsunami," is the title of the article, which underlines the quake was felt in Puglia, Basilacata, Sicily and Campania, without any reports on victims or damages.

    In Croatia Too

    Croatian TV station HRT and Croatian news agency Hina also broadcast news on the quake, noting the epicentre was 1100km from Zagreb and was felt in many cities in southern Croatia, Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar, on the coasts of the Adriatic sea.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    Jerusalem Post: Earthquake shakes Greece, felt in Israel

    Ynet News: Earthquake felt in Israel


    Zaman: Earthquake in Greece

    Related News:

    Damages from the Quake

    Quake Rattles Greece

    [04] No Reports on Injuries Damages from the Quake

    08 Jan 2006 16:01:00 (Last updated: 08 Jan 2006 23:24:59)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Four houses collapsed and fifty sustained damages in Mitata, on Kythira, according to the latest reports. The church of Agia Triada, the paved area of the main square and the road network towards the village. As NET journalist Anna Kandyli reported from Kythira, minor damages have been reported in Potamos and Agia Pelagia villages. Three families, whose houses were damages, will spent the night in relatives, while foreigners, who lived in an old apartment block, will be staying in a hotel. A total of 80 houses, mainly abandoned, are damaged in Kythira, Crete and the Peloponnese. A panel of 10 engineers joined by the Prefect of Piraeus and Islands, Giannis Michas, have already departed for Kythira on board a Super Puma helicopter in order to assess damages on the island, after the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred at 13:34. School Buildings Organisation president has also arrived on Kithira to inspect local school buildings. Civil Protection secretary general Panagiotis Fourlas and local authorities are already in Mitata to inspect the houses affected by todays quake. According to the Prefect, the road network towards Mitata has also sustained minor damages, while no serious damages have been reported in other villages, apart from a few brick fences collapsing. The islands port authorities are on alert. Damages were also reported in the airport on Kythira. Fortunately, no injuries were recorded. Schools on Kythira and in Chania, Crete, will remain closed on Monday. In Chania, an old lady broke her leg while trying to get out of her house and in Rethymno, a man injured by broken glass. The quake was felt throughout Greece, from Rhodes to Eptanisa and from Crete to the border Prefecture of Kastoria, as well as throughout Western Macedonia, and mainly the Prefectures of Kozani and Grevena, where many locals contacted the authorities to find out details about the epicentre and the magnitude of the quake.

    Quake Felt Around the Country

    Chania Prefect Giorgos Katsanevakis asked inhabitants to keep their cool, as the consequences of the strong quake were mostly limited to damages on old houses. Most problems were reported in the city of Chania, where rocks slid, while a coffeehouse sustained minor damages without anyone getting injured. In Faleniana, Kissamos, an old uninhabited house collapsed, while in Platanos, Kissamos, a large rock fell in the backyard of a house, thus damaging part of it. Luckily, the old couple living in the house are safe and sound.

    In Chania, Crete, one elderly woman broke her leg whilst trying to get out of her house, while a younger man was injured by broken glass in Rethymno.

    The earthquake caused power cuts in Agia, but generators worked at once and no problems were reported. However, communication through mobiles phones was difficult for a while due to system overload.

    The Fire Service received dozens of calls to put out small fires, as many housewives left the pots on the stove and abandoned their homes. In addition, several people were locked outside their houses.

    Authorities started listing damages on all public buildings and schools, while school principals have been asked to report any damages.

    The Mayor of Chania called all technical personnel to work, while the supervisor of the Chania Prefecture is in close contact with the municipalities of the area.

    The Peloponnese

    Furthermore, telecommunications are down in several municipalities of the Prefectures of Laconia and Messinia. No mobile phones or land lines are operating in Sparti and Kalamata, while the network is up and running in Gythio and Kythira.

    The quake was felt around the Peloponnese. However, there were no reports on damages in the prefectures of Arkadia, Argolida and Corinthia. Lakonia Prefect Konstantinos Fourkas reassured no municipalities or communities have sustained damages.


    The quake was also felt in Giannena and the rest of Epirus. The inhabitants were alarmed at first because they thought the epicentre was in Epirus, but clamed down after hearing on the news the epicentre was hundreds of km away. So far, there have been no reports on damages around Epirus.

    West Greece

    There have been no reports on damages in west Greece. The quake was rather felt in Achaia, Etoloakarnania, Ileia and the Ionian island, while according to the Fire Service, there have been no calls for help. The quake upset inhabitants, who went out on the streets but quickly returned to their homes. Fire fighting forces and the EMAK are on alert.


    The quake was felt moderately in the Prefecture of Trikala, where the locals commented mainly on the length of the tremor and not its magnitude. According to the Trikala Police and Fire Depts, no damages have been reported in the area.


    The tremor was felt on all the islands of the Dodecanese, however, it was not very strong, a fact that did not frighten the islanders. No damages were reported on Rhodes or the rest of the Dodecanese.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Quake Rattles Greece

    Strong Earthquake

    [05] Sharon in Coma Until Monday

    08 Jan 2006 12:36:00 (Last updated: 08 Jan 2006 18:10:39)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Israeli PM Ariel Sharon will remain in induced coma and on respirator for one more day, according to the Israeli army radio, which medical sources at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Sharon's attending physicians made this decisions after the last brain scan, which the Israeli PM underwent this morning. Hadassah Hospital director Shlomo Mor-Yosef said Sharon's condition is gradually improving, but still remains critical. Some experts expressed the view that the Israeli PM might recover, however, a top official at Hadassah hospital warned that any prognosis would be premature at this time.

    Furthermore, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who resumed his duties on Wednesday, presided over the Cabinet for the first time on Sunday. According to government sources, Olmert was briefed on matters relating to the security and the army, while the Cabinet also discussed economic issues. During the meeting, Olmert stressed that the institutions of the country continue running smoothly in the absence of Ariel Sharon.

    "Israels democracy is strong and its institutions are functioning seriously and as they should," noted Olmert, adding, "We convey to him our wishes for his recovery and hope he can again take up the reins of Israel. If I could talk to him today, I am sure Arik would tell me: Thanks for your wishes, but you must work to safeguard the safety and economy of Israel and that is what we will do, he concluded.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Small Improvement for Sharon

    Worry Over Sharon

    [06] All Passengers Dead Black Hawk Crash

    08 Jan 2006 19:38:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    All 12 US passengers on board a Black Hawk military helicopter, which crashed in the early morning hours in Iraq, are dead, reported CNN. As per the US army, the accident occurred 12km east of Tal Afar city, while flying along with another US aircraft from one military base to another. The causes of the crash remain unknown. According to the Associated Press, 23 US helicopters have crashed in Iraq since March 2003.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: U.S. helicopter crash kills 12 in Iraq

    BBC: Iraq US helicopter crash kills 12

    [07] Aris Defeated Olympiacos

    08 Jan 2006 20:58:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Aris turned the game against Olympiacos into a derby as they had control throughout the match, but a black out in the last period almost cost them victory. The final score was 70-64 in favour of the Thessalonikan team, despite Olympiacos' fruitless efforts to win. Aftew this result, Panathinaikos is enjoying the top of the rankings alone. The score per period: 29-16, 45-28, 62-42, 70-64.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Winter Champion

    08 Jan 2006 22:23:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    With Ieroklis Stoltidis' goal in the 88', Olympiacos claimed victory against Ionikos in Neapoli in the first match for 2005 as part of round 15 of the A National football championship. This win brings Olympiacos at the top and having a three-point difference from AEK, which tied with Xanthi, and a nine-point difference from Panathinaikos, does not seem to face major problems. It is worth noting that Rivaldo was forced to retire in the 34' after being injured.

    Referee: Kouklakis (Chania)

    Yellow Cards: Vourexakis, Da Costa, Anatolakis, Okkas, Schurrer


    IONIKOS: Beqaj, Tsiblidis, Poulopoulos, King, Melabianakis, Gutman (68' Benitez), Vourexakis, Ucar (90' Sachinidis), Da Costa, Konstantinidis

    OLYMPIACOS: Nikopolidis, Mavrogenidis, Bulut, Schurrer, Anatolakis, Stoltidis, Kafes, Okkas (92' Maric), Danny (61' Konstantinou), Rivaldo (34' Castillo), Djordjevic

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Draw in Xanthi

    08 Jan 2006 21:34:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Xanthi and AEK tied in the first match for 2006, as part of round 15th which completed the first part of the A National football championship. The final result in Xanthi was a nil draw, since none of the two teams managed to claim victory in a rather unexciting match. After nine consecutive wins, AEK failed to keep up its winning streak and by claiming a single point it still ranks second with a total of 36 points. Panathinaikos defeated Larissa on Saturday and has now reached 30 points, while Xanthi still ranks fourth with 25.

    Referee: Dabosis (Pieria)

    Yellow Cards: Fliskas, Labriakos, Lymberopoulos, Alexopoulos, Ivic


    XANTHI: Pizanowski, Papadimitriou, Maghdradze, Emerson, Paviot, Antzas, Baykara (+90' Sikov), Fliskas (82' Torosidis), Prittas, Garpozis, Labriakos

    AEK: Sorrentino, Malbasa, Cirillo, Alexopoulos, Georgeas, Morras (88' Dellas), Chanko (79' Sapanis), Ivic, Lakis (46' Julio Cesar), Soares, Lymberopoulos

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Breather for Levadiakos

    08 Jan 2006 18:15:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Levadiakos scored a significant victory, defeating OFI in Livadia with a score of 1-0, during the first game for the New Year, in round 15 of the Greek Division 1 football championship. Gourma scored the sole goal of the match in the 12, giving Levadiakos three valuable points. On the other hand, OFI is on shaky ground after this defeat, while it finished the game with 10 players, as Gonzalez was shown a yellow-red card.

    Referee: Kasnaferis (Atahens) Yellow Cards: Dimitropoulos Red Cards: 30 Gonzales (yellow-red)

    LEVADIAKOS: Zafiropoulos, Kallimanis, Chrysafis, Dimitropoulos, Pastos, Dimou, Bassala, Vitali, Gourma (75 Alex), Rusev, Bushi (61 Andralas)

    OFI: Sifakis, Kounenakis, Pitsos (60 Belevonis), Khachatryan, Gonzalez, Roubakis, Konstantinidis, Oforique, Koltzos (69 Nwafor), Davidson, Kazantzis (39 Anastasiadis).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Kallithea Played Better

    08 Jan 2006 17:43:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Kallithea missed a great opportunity to move up from the bottom of the rankings, after tying against Iraklis with 0-0 and receiving one point, although it put up a better performance. The home team was superior throughout the match and missed most of the opportunities, starting from the 10, when Koutsospyros missed a shot. The rest of the game was full of opportunities for Kallithea, apart from a couple of times, in the 36 with Murati and the 38 with Epalle, when Bartzokas kept his nets goalless. The second half was along the same lines as the first, ending in a nil all score, with the home team disappointed at losing a valuable three-pointer.

    Referee: Styliaras (Etoloakarnania)

    KALLITHEA: Bartzokas, Karatzas, Aggelopoulos, Koulakiotis, Tsiolis, Petkovic, Belegrinis, Venetis, Telsinski (83 Yanchev), Diamantis (72 Dragicevic), Koutsospyros

    IRAKLIS: Abaris (63 Dilberis), Sznaucner, Drougas, Katsiabis, Seghiri, Murati, Prittas, Georgiadis (87 K. Kapetanos), Lagos, Herrera (51 P. Kapetanos), Epalle.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Easy Win for Atromitos

    08 Jan 2006 17:25:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    With a goal scored in each half, Atromitos started off the New Year with a victory, since it met no resistance from Akratitos in Peristeri stadium. The home team, which was evidently thirsty to begin the new round of matches after the Christmas break, did not provide the Ano Liossia team with any margins to react, while it took the lead in the 16 with a header by Dagas, after a cross by Geladaris. Akratitos tried to fight back with some counterattacks, but was unsuccessful, so Atromitos kept control of the match. The 2-0 victory was sealed in the 54, when Doe kicked his teams second goal.

    Referee: Karatzas (Evia) Yellow Cards: Raguel - Dieng

    ATROMITOS: Michailidis, Raguel, Dagas, Mikes (73 Sotirchos), Georgiou, Koutsi, Geladaris, Karadimos (80 Katemis), Korakakis, Doe, Zacharopoulos

    AKRATITOS: Stelea, Pipinis, Dieng, Badas, Obradovic, Gustavo, Pagonis, Marinesku, Merino, Sales, Skoufalis.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Epiphany in Izmir

    08 Jan 2006 13:10:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The last Epiphany in Izmir in 1922 is history. After 84 years, Epiphany was celebrated once again at the port of Izmir. The Mass was performed in Agia Foteini Church, officiated by Ecumenical Throne Archimandrite Kyrillos Sykis, in the presence of Greek Consul Giorgos Katapodis, Lesvos Prefect Pavlos Vogiatzis, the Consulate personnel, visitors and Greeks living in Izmir. The procession reached the Greek consulate and from there to the pier, where for the first time in 84 years since the 1922 disaster, the cross was cast in the water. Two doves were released in the skies and 18-year-old Andreas Kolovos from Mytilini dived three times in the cold water to retrieve the cross amidst applauses and tears.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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