A strong earthquake has struck western Greece destroying at least 70 buildings and killing two people

A strong magnitude 6.1 (moment magnitude) earthquake struck western Greece at 03:26 pm local time on June 8.

According to preliminary reports from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the epicentre was around 20 miles (35 km) southwest of Patras and 125 miles (200 km) west of Athens, with a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km).

Dr Andrew Sorby, model manager for Europe earthquake at RMS, commented: ‘Reports indicate that the earthquake was felt as far away as Athens and southern Italy. There have been numerous aftershocks, the largest of which was a magnitude 4.7, and we may see more in the next few days.’

‘The earthquake has caused serious damage across a wide area. Accounts suggest that at least 70 buildings have been destroyed, with 30 suffering severe damage and a further 230 sustaining cracking or light damage. The worst affected settlements include the villages of Valmi, Fostaina and the town of Kato Achaia. There are two reported fatalities and numerous injuries.’

Other earthquakes to have affected this part of Greece include the M6.0 Kyllini earthquake in 1988 and an earthquake in 1806 in Patras, which caused 53 fatalities. Greece and the surrounding region is the most seismically active part of Europe. The region is part of a broad and complex boundary zone between the Eurasian, African and Anatolian Plates.