Arkalochori and surrounding villages in Heraklion Prefecture of Crete continue to be rattled by the aftershocks of the recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake that his last week. The situation for thousands of people is stable but according to officials, untenable for the immediate future.
Within the past 48 hours, at least five aftershocks of magnitudes of between 2.3 and 4.6 have shaken this part of the Heraklion region of Crete. Many of the citizens of these villages have left their homes by the urging of officials over structural damage concerns. Thousands in Akraklochori alone, are living either in an improvised tent city erected by emergency workers or with relatives in the capital of Heraklion.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said that the conditions in Arkalochori village look “grim” after the conclusion of an on-the-spot inspection. Tents are being set up at the Exhibition Centre of Arakalochori for roughly 2,500 people.
Crete’s Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis said that efforts are underway to contact hotels to house earthquake victims since there is no estimate of how long citizens will have to stay away from their homes. Deputy Governor of Heraklion, Nikos Syrigonakis told reporters that the tent situation is not sustainable since the weather situation on Crete will deteriorate soon.
“It is not possible for these people to remain on the tents, as the weather is expected to deteriorate. Efforts are being made to persuade them to move out of the area and that is where we will focus. It seems to be very difficult, because many of the victims do not want to leave their homes, but we will insist and try to explain to them that given the change in the weather in the next 24 hours, the options are very specific.”
Professor Akis Tselentis, who’s head of the Geodynamics Institute of the Athens National Observatory, said recently that the earthquake that hit Arkalochori was likely the main event (98.8 percent) since the fault that produced the tremor is incapable of producing an event above 6.0 Richter.
Other Crete regions, organizations, and individuals are stepping up aid to Arkalochori sending food and other essentials to the region.