NICOSIA - A small tremor was recorded in the early hours of this morning just south of Xylofagou village in the Famagusta District.
According to Geological Officer Iordanis Demetriades, the earthquake struck at 4.15am and measured 4.4 on the Richter scale. The quake was said to have been 10km deep and 10km south of Xylofagou. The small tremor was felt by residents in the districts of Larnaca and Famagusta.
The situation is being continuously monitored by the Geological Survey Department which is responsible for seismic activity in Cyprus.
Cyprus sits on a slice of continental crust about 35 km thick and the island is moving to the west across the Mediterranean, like 'a seed being squeezed between two fingers' in extremely slow-motion.
Seismic activity is frequent and over millennia violent and destructive earthquakes have caused immense damage. Much of this activity is concentrated in the areas behind Limassol and Paphos District and out at sea to the south west of Cyprus at the Eratosthenes Seamount. The last destructive quake was said to be 6.0 and hit in September 1953 with many people reportedly killed. In October 1996, a 6.5 earthquake in the southwest of Cyprus caused panic to the residents of Paphos and Limassol.