A massive 6.3 earthquake struck Crete, triggering a tsunami warning and warning tourists to keep away from the shore.
A TSUNAMI ALERT has been issued in Crete, with holidaymakers being advised to “keep away from the shore” just weeks after a tremor that left hundreds homeless.
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Greek vacation island today, forcing a church to collapse, according to witnesses.
The epicentre of the earthquake was 31 miles south-east of the port of Sitia, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, as scared inhabitants hurried to the streets.
The EMSC received a report from a resident of Analipsi, who said: “There’s a huge tremor going on. The entire home shook by at least 15 centimetres on either side. It was only approximately 20 seconds long.'” The quake struck at a depth of 6.2 miles, according to the agency.
According to renowned seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos, the island was also hit by a tsunami as a result of the massive quake.
He urged residents to leave the country’s coastal districts, saying: “In southern Crete, a little tsunami is raging. Withdraw from the water’s edge.” According to Protothema, the severe quake caused a church in Agios Nikolaos, near Sitia, to topple, while another photograph showed shattered products strewn across a supermarket floor after the tremor.
At 12.24 p.m. local time, the tremor struck beneath the water near the island’s eastern shore, according to the Geodynamic Institute in Athens (9.24am GMT).
Minutes later, the institute reported quakes with magnitudes of 4.1 and 4.5, which are thought to be aftershocks.
There were no reports of injuries at the time.
Police and fire crews were assessing buildings in eastern Crete for damage, according to authorities.
The quake was felt on the Greek islands of Karpathos, Kassos, and Rhodes, which are to the east of Crete.
“Fortunately, there does not appear to be any severe damage despite the fact that it was a big event and occurred at a shallow depth,” Yiannis Leondarakis, Crete’s deputy regional governor, told Greece’s state-run radio.
It comes after a severe earthquake struck the island last month, causing a church dome to collapse on builders inside, killing a new grandfather and injuring his son, who was rescued alive from the ruins.
At least 24 people were injured, and the 6.0 magnitude quake was said to have destroyed up to 1,000 dwellings on Greece’s largest island.
Tourists from the United Kingdom were evacuated from resorts, while residents of Heraklion, the island’s capital, rushed out into the streets as the earthquake struck at 9.17 a.m. local time.
It also caused rock falls and a tsunami warning, despite the fact that no severe waves were detected.
The first casualty was father-of-two Iakovos Tsagarakis, 65, who had lately become a grandfather.
While repairing the Prophet Elias’ church in… Brinkwire Brief News, he was one of three builders trapped beneath the fell dome.