In Greece, the Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis toured the northern industrial city of Salonika to inspect the restoration work following the massive earthquake which devastated the area last month.
GV Street scene in Salonika with people in tents beside the road and in parks. (3 SHOTS)
GV Cars passing tents beside road.
GV Tents pitched in park near high-rise buildings.
GV Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, surrounded by officials, tours area and sees building damaged by last earthquake. (4 SHOTS)
SV Mr. Karamanlis walking around building PAN TO bulldozer.
GV Mr. Karamanlis walking towards car PULL BACK TO tents in foreground.
Local fears of another earthquake have been increased by the events leading up to the June quake. For more than a month before the tremor the city had been shaken by 600 minor shocks and rumours spread that a major earthquake was imminent. The government minister responsible for Salonika, Nikolaos Martis, issued an order making anyone found to be purveying the quake theory, liable to three months imprisonment. The quake on 20 June measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and was the first major earthquake in Salonika since 1932. The city lies within the band of seismic activity known as the Varder Quake Zone, stretching from North east Italy, through Yugoslavia to Greece.
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Background: In Greece, the Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis toured the northern industrial city of Salonika to inspect the restoration work following the massive earthquake which devastated the area last month. Mr. Karamanlis was also attempting to quieten fears among the city's population of 700 thousand that there was about to be another major quake. The last tremor on 20th of June resulted in 50 deaths and hundreds of casualties and destroyed many buildings in Salonika. As the people slowly returned to their homes and began the task of repairing their houses, a rumour spread throughout the city linking the last earthquake with the rising of the full moon. The approach of the July full-moon on the 20th was seen as the herald of the next tremor and as Mr. Karamanlis visited the city centre on Thursday (20 July) panic had driven most people out of their homes, and into tents or out of the city altogether.
SYNOPSIS: Since the last earthquake a shanty town of tents has sprung up in Salonika. Few are willing to risk being caught in their sky-scraper flats if there is another tremor. A series of minor quakes has shaken the city since June and the locals although used to the seismic activity of the area, are scared. More than 500 thousand people had fled into the surrounding countryside before the full-moon rose
Mr. Karamanlis' visit reflects the government's concern about the job of rehabilitating the city. Not only is there the need for extensive rebuilding, but the commercial and industrial life of salonika is badly effected by migration of the population out of the city. A team of seismologists studying the region have issued statements reassuring people that the moon has no effect on geological activity. Police have arrested five members of a Communist organisation distributing leaflets in support of the full-moon theory.
Faced with a mass exodus, on Thursday (20 July) tradesmen offered free wine and food to anyone willing to stay and dance the night away under the full-moon. A brave 50 thousand attended the party and witnessed the absence of a quake.