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Earthquake Vulnerable Areas


Cyprus lies in a seismic zone and the whole of the island can be considered as an earthquake vulnerable area. Damage from earthquakes that occurred in various times has been reported from almost everywhere. However, both the historical and the contemporary data reveal that the most earthquake prone area of Cyprus (Figure S7) is the coastal zone that extends from Pafos through Limassol and Larnaca to Famagusta. A large part of the Pentadaktylos range and the part of the Troodos range, where the ophiolitic rocks outcrop, constitute the least earthquake prone areas of Cyprus.


A large number of medium to strong earthquakes have their epicentres in the sea, several tens of kilometres away from inhabited areas and the damage that may cause is small to negligible, as the intensity with which an area is struck depends on the epicentral distance. As many earthquakes have their epicentres in the west and south, it is obvious that the areas affected more by these are the western and southern coastal zones.


Another important parameter affecting the response of an area towards an earthquake is that of the ground conditions. Areas covered with loose deposits, including most of the coastal areas are more vulnerable to destruction in contrast to areas where the rocks are massive, like the Troodos range which is mostly covered with igneous rocks.



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