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Man dies and nearly a dozen injured after strong quake on Greek island of Crete

The quake struck at 7.17am Irish time and measured a magnitude of 5.8.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Sep 27th 2021, 3:45 PM

A STRONG EARTHQUAKE struck Crete this morning, killing a man, injuring nearly a dozen others, damaging a town and sending panicked residents rushing into the streets on Greece’s largest island.

The quake, measuring magnitude 5.8 according to Greece’s seismological observatory, killed a man who had been repairing a church.

The 62-year-old was crushed by rubble in the small agricultural town of Arkalochori, where nearly a dozen were hurt, 30 kilometres southeast of the island capital of 

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 6.0.

The tremor struck at 9.17am (6.17am Irish time), 23 kilometres from the Crete capital of Heraklion. Dozens of aftershocks followed.

“So far, one man is dead and 11 people are in hospital suffering mostly from fractures”, according to a spokesman from the National Centre for Emergency Care.

Spiros Georgiou, spokesman for the civil protection agency had earlier said Arkalochori was particularly badly hit.

Images on ERT public television showed old buildings that had collapsed in Arkalochori and surrounding villages near Heraklion.

“It’s an earthquake that we did not expect, for the moment there are aftershocks of 4.5,” said Efthymis Lekkas, the head of Greece’s quake protection agency, quoted by the ANA news agency.

However, experts said the quake was likely to be the main one.

The minister for civil protection Christos Stylianides said tents with a capacity to host 2,500 people would be deployed before nightfall.

“We will provide shelter and food so nobody will face hardship,” Stylianides told reporters at the stricken area.

He added that officials needed to inspect neighbouring villages which have a large number of old stone buildings.

The Athens observatory said the epicentre of the quake was 346 kilometres south of Athens at a depth of 10 kilometres.

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Greece is located on a number of fault lines, and is sporadically hit by earthquakes.

The last deadly quake in the country occurred on 3 March in the central town of Elassona, killing one person, injuring 10 and causing major damage.

Last 30 October, a magnitude 7.0 hit in the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and the city of Izmir in western Turkey.

Most of the damage was in Turkey where 114 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured.

In Greece, two teenagers were reported dead on Samos.

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