A strong M6.4 earthquake jolted the Greek island of Crete on Tuesday, two weeks and a day after another temblor killed a man and damaged hundreds of buildings.
The powerful quake prompted “a small tsunami” in the south of the Greek island and an evacuation alert.
— Donato Yaakov Secchi (@doyaksec) October 12, 2021
The USGS said the undersea earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 and occurred at 12:24 p.m. local time (9:24 a.m. GMT) off the island’s eastern coast. The main tremblor was followed by two moderate aftershocks of M4.1 and M4.6 minutes later.
The main jolt was felt as far as the coast of Turkey and on Cyprus, more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) to the east, authorities said.
An hour after the underwater quake hit at 12:24pm local time, the Greek seismologist Gerassimos Papadopoulos released a graph depicting a tsunami off the island’s southern shores, adding: “A small tsunami is under way in southern Crete! Keep away from coastal [areas].”
Authorities reported a swell in the sea level around the eastern Cretan port of Ierapetra and advised residents to stay away from the coast.
There were no reports of serious damage or injuries, but a small church near the epicenter that was empty at the time of the quake partially collapsed. Authorities said police and fire crews were checking remote villages in eastern Crete.
“The quake was felt all over the island, and it did cause concern because we are still feeling the aftershocks from the previous quake,” Crete’s deputy regional governor, Yiannis Leondarakis, told Greece’s state-run radio.
Witnesses said residents of the island’s largest city, Heraklion, went outdoors when the quake struck, while students at many schools on the island gathered outside their classrooms.
Here some more pictures and videos during and after the strong and shallow quake:
Hundreds of people from villages south of Heraklion remain homeless following a 6.0-magnitude quake that struck on Sept. 27. A man was killed while carrying out restoration work at a church that was damaged in the area. Residents whose homes were damaged were moved to hotels and tents set up by the army.
Seismologists said the quakes last month and on Tuesday took place along different fault lines.
Leondarakis said of Tuesday’s earthquake: “Fortunately, there does not appear to be any serious damage despite the fact that it was a strong event and occurred at a shallow depth.”
The quake also shook nearby Greek islands to the east of Crete, including Karpathos, Kassos. Officials on Karpathos told The Associated Press they had received no reports of serious damage. [USGS, Guardian, TWP]
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