‘Surprise’ aftershock adds damage to quake-hit area

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) — A powerful aftershock with magnitude 5.9 caused additional damage in central Greece on Thursday, a day after an earthquake damaged hundreds of homes in the same area.

Authorities said some empty houses, which had been abandoned by their inhabitants after suffering damage on Wednesday, collapsed but no injuries were reported.

According to the Athens Geodynamic Institute, the aftershock struck as night fell on Thursday outside the central town of Elasona, some 365 kilometres northwest of the Greek capital.

Local authorities advised people in the area to remain outdoors for a second night. “We are advising people not to return to their homes in the area near the epicentre,” said head of the state-run Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization Efthymios Lekkas.

“This latest event came from a section of the faultline that we had not considered to be active. It surprised us.”

The army set up tents in the area on Wednesday after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the region and was felt as far as Montenegro, some 500 kilometres to the north.

Firefighters search inside a damaged house after an earthquake in Greece. PHOTO: AP.