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5.2 Earthquake Strikes East of Crete on Sunday

Earthquake Crete
A moderate earthquake rattled eastern Crete on Sunday afternoon.

An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale hit the sea area east of Crete early Sunday evening.

According to the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), the earthquake occurred at 5:15 p.m. local time and had its epicenter in the sea area 71 km East of Sitia and 48 km South-West of the island of Kasos.

According to preliminary data, the quake was located at a shallow depth of 10 km. Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface.

So far, there are no reports on injuries or material damage.

The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.

A second report from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) listed the quake at magnitude 4.9. A third agency, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), reported the same quake at magnitude 4.8.

Third significant earthquake hits Crete in three months

In October, a powerful 6.3 earthquake hit the 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.

It was felt as far as the coast of Turkey and on Cyprus, more than 310 miles to the east, authorities said.

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

Greece is especially earthquake-prone

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

In October 2020, 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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