Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 2109–2142 | Cite as

The 17 November 2015 Mw 6.4 Lefkas (Ionian Sea, Western Greece) Earthquake: Impact on Environment and Buildings

  • Efthymios Lekkas
  • Spyridon Mavroulis
  • Panayotis Carydis
  • Vassiliki Alexoudi
Original paper


On Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 07:10:07 (UTC) a strong earthquake struck Lefkas Island (Ionian Sea, Western Greece) with magnitude Mw 6.4, depth of about 6 km and epicenter located 20 km southwest of Lefkas town. It was felt in Lefkas Island and the surrounding region and caused the death of two people, the injury of eight others, many earthquake environmental effects (EEE) and damage to buildings and infrastructures. Secondary EEE were observed in western Lefkas and classified as ground cracks, slope movements and liquefaction phenomena. Primary effects directly linked to surface expression of seismogenic source were not detected in the field. The maximum intensity VIIIESI 2007 was assigned to large-volume slope movements along western coastal Lefkas. Damage to buildings was mainly observed in villages located in Dragano-Athani graben arranged almost parallel to the northern segment of the Cephalonia Transform Fault Zone (Lefkas segment). Among structures constructed with no seismic provisions, the stone masonry buildings and monumental structures suffered most damage, while the traditional buildings of the area with dual structural system performed relatively well and suffered minor damage. Reinforced-concrete buildings were affected not so much by the earthquake itself but by the generation of secondary EEE. The maximum seismic intensities VIIIEMS-98 were assigned to villages located in Dragano-Athani graben due to very heavy structural damage observed on masonry buildings mainly attributed to the combination of the recorded high PGA values, the poor antiseismic design and construction of buildings and the geological and tectonic structure of the affected area.


Ionian Islands Strike-slip earthquake Active tectonics Earthquake environmental effects Building damage 



We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions that greatly improved the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efthymios Lekkas
    • 1
  • Spyridon Mavroulis
    • 1
  • Panayotis Carydis
    • 2
  • Vassiliki Alexoudi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dynamic Tectonic Applied Geology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, School of SciencesNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.National Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

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