1999 Athens earthquake

September 1999 earthquake in Greece Ricomex industry (Vileda) Ricomex industry (Vileda) monument IDF relief mission, September 1999

The 1999 Athens earthquake occurred on September 7 at 14:56:51 local time near Mount Parnitha in Greece with a moment magnitude of 6.0 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The proximity to the Athens metropolitan area resulted in widespread structural damage, mainly to the nearby suburbs of Ano Liossia, Acharnes, Fyli, Thrakomakedones, Kifissia, Metamorfosi, Kamatero and Nea Philadelphia. More than 100 buildings (including three major factories) across those areas collapsed trapping scores of victims under their rubble while dozens more were severely damaged. With damage estimated at $3–4.2 billion, 143 people were killed, and up to 1,600 were treated for injuries in Greece's deadliest natural disaster in almost half a century.



The 1999 quake was the most devastating and costly natural disaster to hit the country in nearly 20 years. The last major earthquake to hit Athens took place on February 24, 1981, near the Alkyonides Islands of the Corinthian Gulf, some 87:km to the west of the Greek capital. Registering a moment magnitude of 6.7, the 1981 earthquake had resulted in the deaths of 20 people and considerable and widespread structural damage in the city of Corinth, nearby towns and sections of Athens' western suburbs.

Apart from the proximity of the epicenter to the Athens Metropolitan Area, this quake also featured a very shallow hypocenter combined with unusually high ground accelerations. Unexpectedly heavy damage also affected the town of Adames. The Acropolis of Athens and the rest of the city's famous ancient monuments escaped the disaster either totally unharmed or suffering only minor damage. A landslide as well as several fissures were reported along the road leading to the peak of Mount Parnitha. Minor damage was also reported to water and waste networks close to the epicenter.

Strong motion

See also: Seismic gap

This event took Greek seismologists by surprise as it came from a previousl... ...read more

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