A series of earthquakes, the largest measuring magnitude 6.6 hit off the island of Crete this afternoon beginning at 12:51:06 (UTC). The first tremor centered 89km South of Ierapetra in the Libyan Sea shook towns across Crete as far away as Rethymno and Heraklion on the North shore of the island
The USGS reported strong effects emanating out to 50 km from the center, with light shaking reaching much of the island. No damage was reported, even though the 17 km deep tremor shook our offices here in Heraklion for several minutes.
The larger quake was followed by 5.3 and 4.7 magnitude aftershock events close by the first. The three tremors were proceeded by a 4.3 event off Agia Galini in the Gulf of Mesara late yesterday. No causalities or damages were reported from this deeper quake centered in between the twin Paximadia Islands and Kokkinos Pyrgos on the big island.
Crete and Greece proper are located in a highly seismically active area and experiences hundreds of quakes each year. Saturday’s quake was stronger than most but took place relatively far from populated areas.