Crete earthqake: 6.3 magnitude tremor rocks Greek island and damages buildings

Tremor causes church to collapse but no casualties reported

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the Greek island of Crete on Tuesday, just over two weeks since another tremor killed a man and damaged hundreds of buildings.

The quake hit off the eastern port of Ierapetra. Residents were advised to stay away from the coast.

Magnitude 4.1 and 4.6 quakes that were believed to be aftershocks took place soon after, the institute in Athens said.

The first quake was felt as far afield as the coast of Turkey and on Cyprus, more than 500 kilometres (310 miles) away. It also shook nearby Greek islands to the east of Crete, including Karpathos.

There were no reports of serious damage or injuries but a small church near the epicentre that was empty at the time of the quake partially collapsed. Police and fire crews were checking remote villages in eastern Crete for casualties, authorities said.

“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.

“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.”

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.

Hundreds of people from villages south of Heraklion remain homeless following a 5.8-magnitude quake on September 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.

Updated: October 13th 2021, 4:28 AM