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HISTORIC EARTHQUAKES

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Historic Earthquakes


DatePlace – IntensityEpicentreDescription
26 BCPafos (VII), Egypt (IV)South-West of CyprusDamaging earthquake possibly causing tsunami flooding at Pelusium in Egypt.
15 BCPafos (IX), Kourion (IX) and other towns in Cyprus (VIII)South-West of PafosDestructive earthquake in Pafos which laid the city in ruins. The roman emperor rebuilt the city, bearing the name Augusta. It appears that this event was the stronger of a series of earthquakes.
76 ADSalamis (X), Pafos (IX), Larnaca (IX)South-East of CyprusDisastrous earthquake which occurred near Cyprus. Some exaggerated descriptions mention a volcanic eruption near Kapedes but it has probably been confused with the Vesuvius volcanic eruption of 79 AD.
Some chronicles report a destructive tsunami which accompanied this earthquake.
332-333 ADSalamis (VII)East of CyprusSevere earthquake that has destroyed Salamis again.
342 ADPafos (X)Southwest coast of CyprusPafos has been totally ruined by this event. This event is believed to have changed the course of many small rivers. Extensive landslides and fault displacements have been reported.
365 ADKourion (VII), Akrotiri (VII), south coasts of Cyprus (VIII)South-West of CyprusThe first event occurred at 21st July 365 and caused considerable damage in Greece, Crete, Asia Minor and Egypt. A series of earthquakes during 365 and 378 caused the full destruction of Kourion.
394 ADPafos (VII), Salamis (VII)East of CyprusSevere earthquake which has ruined a number of temples in Pafos and Salamis.
1144Pafos (VII)West of CyprusRegional moderate earthquake which probably occurred west of Cyprus.
1183Pafos (VIII)Near PafosLocal moderate earthquake near Pafos.
1202-1203Cyprus (VI)South-West of CyprusA series of at least 4 earthquakes have shaken Cyprus causing moderate damage.
3 May 1222Pafos (IX), Lemesos (VIII)South-West of CyprusOne of the most destructive events reported in historical catalogues. Earthquake destruction and destructive tsunami flooding in Pafos and Lemesos. The castle of Pafos collapsed and the harbour was left without water.
7-8 Aug. 1303Nicosia (V), Lemesos (V)South of CyprusThe St. Sofia cathedral was damaged and the population panicked.
3 May 1481Pafos (VI), Nicosia (VI)West of CyprusThis earthquake probably occurred near Rhodes. It was felt in Asia Minor, Crete and Egypt.
25 Apr. 1491Mesaoria Valley (IX), Nicosia (VIII), Lemesos (VII)CyprusA severe earthquake which shook the entire island causing great damage in Nicosia and other towns in Mesaoria.
12 Dec. 1542Cyprus (IV-III)North-West of CyprusModerate earthquake which caused slight damage.
1546Nicosia, Famagusta (VI)CyprusThis earthquake possibly occurred in Israel and has completely ruined the St. Sofia Cathedral.
25 Apr. 1567Lemesos (VII), Nicosia, Famagusta (V)South of CyprusSevere earthquake which shook the entire island and caused a lot of damage in Lemesos, Nicosia and Famagusta.
28 Jan. 1577Kourion (VI), Nicosia, Salamis (V)South of CyprusDestructive earthquake, followed by 140 recorded aftershocks.
10 Dec. 1735Famagusta (VIII)Near FamagustaLocal earthquake causing the death of about 200 people.
1741Famagusta (VI)Near FamagustaLocal moderate earthquake.
29 June 1896Akrotiri (VIII), Lemesos (VII)190km south of CyprusForeshocks began on March 18 and continued June 19 and 22. The main shock was felt across the entire island. Fissures opened in Akrotiri and landslides developed along the coast.


Earthquakes of Last Century (Map)


Date
Latitude
Longitude
Ms
(surface magnitude)*
Description
23 Feb. 1906
34.30
33.50
5.3
Destructive earthquake which was felt throughout the island causing extensive damage to buildings in Lemesos and Kolossi.
29 Sep. 1918
35.10
34.80
6.3
Strong earthquake which was felt throughout the island and more intensively in the districts of Larnaca and Ammochostos. The shock was felt in Israel and Lebanon and it was recorded by 23 seismological stations.
18 Feb. 1924
34.80
34.30
6.0
The shock was strongly felt in the south-east Cyprus and caused some minor damage in Ammochostos.
13 Dec. 1927
34.80
33.00
5.0
Preceded by a damaging foreshock ten hours earlier, this earthquake in the Lemesos district caused panic and minor damage mainly to the north of Lemesos. The main shock was recorded by a seismoscope in operation at the Government Hospital in Lemesos. The seismic activity continued for a year.
9 May 1930
34.64
32.19
5.4
A damaging earthquake in the district of Pafos. Many houses, churches and schools were damaged at Pafos, Peyia and Empa. At Episkopi and Nata the shock triggered large scale landslides.
26 June 1937
34.88
32.80
4.7
Damaging earthquake in the southwest Cyprus causing extensive damage to buildings in Pakhna, Platres, Pentalia, Omodos, Arsos, Salamiou and landslides in Arminou.
20 Jan. 1941
35.17
33.65
5.9
The shock was felt throughout the greater part of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It caused considerable damage in the district of Ammochostos (injuries and the collapse of houses in Paralimni and Ammochostos) and less damage in Lefkosia and Larnaca. The earthquake was accompanied by a small tsunami on the coast of Israel.
9 Dec. 1947
36.46
34.66
5.4
Strong earthquake felt throughout the island especially in the districts of Lefkosia and Ammochostos. This shock, which had its epicenter in the Gulf of Iskenderun, was perceptible as far as Turkey and northern Israel.
10 Sep. 1953
34.72
32.24
6.0
A destructive double earthquake in the district of Pafos. It killed 40 and injured about 100 people leaving 4000 people homeless. Damage was reported from all of the 158 villages of the Pafos district. The villages of Stroumpi, Axylou, Kithasi, Lapithiou and Phasoula were totally destroyed. Damage was mainly caused by landslides and ground cracking. Within a few seconds 1600 houses were totally ruined and 10,000 buildings suffered serious damage. Causalities were limited because most people were out in the fields at the time the earthquake occurred. In Lemesos the shock caused extensive damage, where it triggered soil liquefaction of beach deposits on the seashore. The earthquakes were associated with a small tsunami along the coast of Pafos. The shocks were strongly felt in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Kastellorizo, Rhodes and Turkey. About 26 aftershocks continued for over a year.
10 Sep. 1953
34.80
32.78
6.1
15 Sep. 1961
34.91
33.83
5.7
Moderate earthquake with epicenter off Larnaca. It was widely felt in Cyprus causing great panic and some damage in the southeast part of the island.
28 Mar. 1984
34.75
33.58
4.5
Moderate earthquake causing panic and minor damage to houses in Larnaca and Kiti. It was felt in Lemesos and Lefkosia.
23 Feb. 1995
35.02
32.23
5.7**
Destructive earthquake in the district of Pafos causing the death of 2 people. Several houses collapsed in the villages of Pano Arodes and Miliou. Some damage was caused to buildings in the villages of Peristerona, Steni, Gialia, Argaka, Pomos, Pyrgos, Lefka, Neo Chorio Akama, Latsi and Poli Chrysochous.
9 Oct. 1996
34.53
32.10
6.5**
Very strong earthquake in the southwest of Cyprus. It caused panic in the districts of Pafos, Lemesos, Lefkosia, Larnaca and Ammochostos. Two people lost their lives and 20 were lightly injured. There were damage reports from especially Pafos and Lemesos.
11 Aug. 1999
34.75
33.035
5.6**
Strong earthquake with epicenter near Gerasa village in Lemesos, strongly felt across the entire island. It caused damage to buildings in Lemesos and the north part of the district. Forty people were lightly injured mainly because of panic. A large number of aftershocks continued for months.

*as re-calculated by Ambraseys and Adams (1992) using amplitudes and periods from surface waves

**as calculated by Cyprus Geological Survey Department

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