A strong earthquake struck the Greek island of Crete at 9.17am, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) and the Geodynamic Institute of Athens (AGI). The EMSC initially reported that the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5, adjusting the magnitude to 6.0 shortly thereafter, but the AGI reported that the preliminary magnitude was 5.8.
However, it is common for different seismological institutes to provide different magnitudes for an earthquake in the first hours and days after an earthquake.
The EMSC also reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was 16 miles southeast of Heraklion with a depth of 1.24 miles.
Eyewitnesses informed EMSC about the earthquake. A person in Mochos, 11 miles from the epicenter, said it was “very loud and noisy.” A witness in Heraklion reported that a school had to be evacuated as a result of the earthquake, while a witness in Stalis, 12 miles from the epicenter, said the earthquake lasted “several minutes” and reported that the building had been shaking.
A Briton who had been to Crete during the earthquake told EMSC: “Coming from England, I have never experienced an earthquake like this. I was pretty scared. The building does not appear to have suffered any damage, ”adding that there were cracks in the pavement.
Social media users have also been responding to the earthquake.
Twitter user Yorgos Saslis said, “WE REALLY SORRY about this”, noting that everything was fine where he was, except for “some broken photo frames.”
Pete Goodwin, who was preparing to fly back to Britain, said on Twitter: “I just experienced a very strong earthquake / earthquake in Crete!”
Others on Twitter reported feeling tremors in Analipsi (11 miles away) and as far away as Santorini (92 miles away).
The earthquake comes just two weeks after a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck the nearby holiday island of Kos at a depth of 6.2 miles on September 11.
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