Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Greek island of Crete

Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Crete, two weeks after deadly earthquakes destroyed hundreds of buildings on the Greek holiday island

  • The epicenter was about 51 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of the coastal city of Sitia and was felt by people at 9.24 a.m.
  • The earthquake occurred under the sea off the eastern coast of the Greek island
  • Witnesses felt a “severe tremor” and said their homes shook from side to side


A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Crete today – two weeks after another earthquake on the Greek island killed a man and damaged hundreds of buildings.

The epicenter was about 31 miles southeast of the coastal city of Sitia and was felt by people at 12.24 pm local time (9.24 am GMT). The earthquake was at a depth 6.2 miles (10 km).

The Geodynamic Institute in Athens said the quakes, with a magnitude of 4.1 and 4.5, which were believed to be aftershocks, occurred minutes later.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries. Authorities said police and firefighters were checking buildings in eastern Crete for damage.

People ran into the street on the Greek island of Crete after feeling the quake of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake

The earthquake was felt on the Greek islands east of Crete, including Karpathos, Kasos and Rhodes.

“People felt the earthquake all over the island, and it really caused concern because we still felt aftershocks from the previous earthquake,” Deputy Governor of Crete, Yiannis Loondarakis, told state-run Radio Greece.

Witnesses said they felt a “severe tremor” and said their homes shook from side to side.

One resident, from the town of Annalipsi near Heraklion, told EMSC: “Severe tremor. The whole house side-by-side shook at least 15 cm. It lasted about 20 seconds.”

“It was felt even by people who had been driving for a long time,” said another person from the same town, which is 43 kilometers from the epicenter.

“Fortunately, there does not appear to be any significant damage despite the fact that it was a strong event and occurred at a shallow depth,” Leondarakis said of Tuesday’s quake.

It comes just two weeks after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake killed one person, injured 10 and destroyed hundreds of buildings on the island.

Hundreds of people from villages south of Heraklion, the island’s largest city, remain homeless in the wake of the earthquake that hit the country on September 27.

The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 9:17 a.m. on September 27, was 14 miles northwest of Arvi — about 153 miles southeast of Athens — and six miles deep, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.

A Greek Orthodox church was damaged after a strong earthquake in the village of Arkalokouri in central Crete on September 27.  One person was killed by falling debris as rescue workers try to dig out more from under the rubble

A Greek Orthodox church was damaged after a strong earthquake in the village of Arkalokouri in central Crete on September 27. One person was killed by falling debris as rescue workers try to dig out more from under the rubble

A person working in a church in the central island village of Arkalochori was killed when the dome, which was undergoing renovations, collapsed on September 27 according to Greek channel ERT.

A person working in a church in the central island village of Arkalochori was killed when the dome, which was undergoing renovations, collapsed on September 27 according to Greek channel ERT.

A person named Iakovos Tsagarakis, 65, was killed by falling debris while working to restore the dome of the Church of the Prophet Elias in Arkalukouri, which collapsed during the earthquake.

His son was one of several others injured in the collapse, but he was able to escape and call emergency services, even though he had several broken bones according to Protothema.

The earthquake prompted citizens to take to the streets to avoid being entrapped, and led to the evacuation of schools. About 20 people were injured and several people are believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Several rebounding aftershocks hit the area as well, with EMSC giving an initial volume of 4.6 for the strongest one.

“It’s an earthquake we didn’t expect, at the moment there are 4.5 aftershocks,” said seismologist Efthemis Likas, who described the sudden quake as a “thunderbolt.”

Greece lies on a number of fault lines, and is intermittently subject to earthquakes.

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