At least one person was killed and several were slightly injured after a powerful 5.8 earthquake rattled Crete on Monday morning.
The quake occurred at 09:17, 23 kilometers northwest of the town of Arvi in the heart of Heraklion prefecture, Crete, as announced by the Geodynamic Institute.
Reports say that a 65-year-old was killed when a church collapsed at the village of Arkalohori. Another worker in the same church was freed from the rubble unharmed by the rescue workers.
Meanwhile, another citizen in the village of Patsideros, who was trapped inside his house, was rescued as he could not open the door due to the damage after the earthquake.
There has been significant damage to the water supply system and buildings, in the wider administrative district of Archanes Asterousia on the island of Crete, Archanes Mayor Manolis Kokosalis reported.
Reports say that the earthquake had a long duration and Heraklion residents were forced to abandon homes and offices.
The earthquake was felt throughout Crete and as far as Santorini.
Damage to buildings in Crete earthquake
The village of Arkalochori was at the epicenter of the earthquake, where some buildings collapsed or sustained damage. Parents were notified to pick up their children from the schools.
The quake had a focal depth of ten kilometers. Two aftershocks of 3.8 R and 4.5 R were also recorded. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center and the US Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0. It is common for different seismological institutes to give varying magnitudes for an earthquake in the initial hours and days after an event.
Greece is earthquake prone
Greece lies in a highly seismically active region. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries.
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 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 per year while the African Plate is subducting northward, beneath the Aegean Sea Plate, at a rate of about 40 mm per year.
The northern plate boundary is a relatively diffuse divergent boundary while the southern convergent boundary forms the Hellenic arc.