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Powerful 6.3 Earthquake Hits South of Crete

earthquake Crete
A powerful earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit the sea area southeast of Crete. Public domain

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.3 struck the seabed at 12:24 PM on Tuesday local time south of Crete.

The quake had a focal depth of 8.2 km (5.09 miles), and its epicenter was southeast of the city of Ierapetra.

There are no reports of injuries, although local officials say that there has been damage to some older buildings. By order of Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokouris, all forces in Crete are ready to intervene if and where needed.

Crete’s deputy regional governor, Yiannis Leondarakis, told Greece’s state-run radio: “The quake was felt all over the island, and it did cause concern because we are still feeling the aftershocks from the previous quake.”

Hundreds of people from villages south of the island’s largest city, Heraklion, are still homeless following a 5.8-magnitude quake that struck on September 27.

The tremor was felt in the capital of Crete, Heraklion, where people rushed out into the streets.

The earthquake was also felt by the residents of all the islands of the Dodecanese archipelago, mainly on Kasos, Karpathos and Rhodes.

earthquake Crete
The sea area where the earthquake struck on Tuesday.

On September 27, one person was killed and several were slightly injured after a powerful 5.8 earthquake rattled Crete.

Professor Efthymios Lekkas, of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, speaking to national television, said that Tuesday’s earthquake bears no relationship with the one that hit central Crete more than two weeks ago.

He explained that Tuesday’s earthquake developed in a completely different context in relation to the earthquake of Arkalochori. “It is a completely different seismic center, we should not connect one earthquake with another,” he said, clarifying that there is a distance of 80 km (49.7 miles) between the two seismic centers.

“The one fault is not connected to the other. We have a new earthquake, it is a completely different situation, two completely different seismic centers and they have completely different behavior,” he added.

Greece is especially earthquake prone

Greece lies in a highly seismically active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries, however.

Last October, an earthquake that struck the eastern Greek Aegean island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast killed two people on Samos and at least 75 people in Turkey.

The country is located in a complex geological boundary zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

The northern part of Greece lies on the Eurasian Plate while the southern part lies on the Aegean Sea Plate.

The Aegean Sea Plate is moving southwestward with respect to the Eurasian Plate at about 30 mm (1 inch) per year while the African Plate is subducting northward, beneath the Aegean Sea Plate, at a rate of about 40 mm (1.6 inches) per year.

The northern plate boundary is a relatively diffuse divergent boundary while the southern convergent boundary forms the Hellenic Arc.


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