A strong earthquake of 5.5 on the Richter scale hit northeast of Crete in the early hours of Monday, the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) announced.
The epicenter of the quake was in the sea area between Crete and the islands of Kasos and Karpathos. No damage has been reported.
NOA says the quake hit at 1:25 am local time at a moderately shallow depth of 42.8 kilometers.
A second report issued by European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) listed it at a magnitude of 6.0. The EMSC also posted a tsunami warning, urging people living in the coastal areas of Crete to move to higher ground amid fears of a possible tsunami. The warning has since been withdrawn.
Professor of geology Efthymios Lekkas reassured residents of the southeastern Aegean to remain calm. Speaking to Skai TV, he said that these types of earthquakes do not pose a danger since they have “no significant post-seismic sequence.”
Crete is in an earthquake zone
In September 2021, hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged following the powerful 5.8 earthquake that hit central Crete.
Hundreds of people in the affected region of Crete spent several nights in tents and parks or slept in their cars in the wake of the earthquake, which struck the village of Arkalochori, killing one person and injuring at least twenty.
In October 2022, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit south of Crete causing no damage or injuries.
Greece lies in a highly seismically-active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries, however.
The country is located in a complex geological boundary zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the African and Eurasian Plates.
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 thirty millimeters (one inch) per year while the African Plate is subducting northward beneath the Aegean Sea Plate at a rate of about forty millimeters (1.6 inches) per year.