A powerful 5.8 earthquake shook 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 the earthquake had a long duration and Heraklion residents were forced to abandon homes and offices.
The earthquake was felt throughout Crete.
Damage to buildings in Crete earthquake
According to initial reports there are no casualties, but there is damage to some buildings in the village of Arkalochori, where parents were notified to pick up their children from the schools.
The mayor of Arkalohori told Skai TV two churches and other buildings at the village had been damaged and two people were trapped, one in a church when the dome collapsed during maintenance work, and another in a home.
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.
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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.