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Greece: 'Surprise' aftershock adds damage to quake-hit area

A powerful aftershock with magnitude 5.9 caused additional damage in central Greece 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 Wednesday, collapsed but no injuries were reported.

According to the Athens Geodynamic Institute, the aftershock struck as night fell Thursday outside the central town of Elasona, some 365 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of the Greek capital.

Firefighters search inside a damaged house after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, many thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake Wednesday, felt across the region leaving many damaged homes and public buildings.(AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

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 epicenter,” said Efthymios Lekkas, head of the state-run Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization.

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

Firefighters search inside a damaged house after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, many thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake Wednesday, felt across the region leaving many damaged homes and public buildings.(AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

The army set up tents in the area Wednesday after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the region and was felt as far as Montenegro, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) to the north.

It caused no serious injuries, but scores of homes were damaged in several villages near Elasona.

A firefighter checks a damaged house after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, many thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake Wednesday, felt across the region leaving many damaged homes and public buildings.(AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

A Red Cross member with a sniffer dog searches inside a damaged house after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, many thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake Wednesday, felt across the region leaving many damaged homes and public buildings. (AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

Local residents try to warm themselves in the early sunshine at a soccer field after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, some thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake Wednesday, felt across the region, damaging some homes and public buildings.(AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

A girl standing outside a tent, uses a blanket to stay warm after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake, felt across the region, damaged homes and public buildings. (AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)

A woman sits inside a tent as others sleep after an earthquake in Damasi village, central Greece, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Fearful of returning to their homes, thousands of people in central Greece spent the night outdoors after a powerful earthquake, felt across the region, damaged homes and public buildings. (AP PhotoVaggelis Kousioras)