Update 3: Heraklion Prefecture has been shaken by as many as 23 strong aftershocks in the wake of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that hit Crete earlier today. At least one person has died, many have been injured, and hundreds cannot stay in their homes until the damage is fully assessed. The village of Arkalochori, the closest large town to the epicenter, has seen the most damage.
Update 2: Reports are coming in of moderate to severe damage to older buildings in the region. In Arkaolochori there are reports that two churches and many older buildings have been damages. Also, two persons were trapped by falling debris, according to the village’s mayor.
Update 1: A 4.6 magnitude aftershock hit just slightly North and East of the original 6.2 event. So far, no reports of damage or injuries have been reported from this quake.
The Heraklion earthquake hit at a shallow depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), 21 km SSE of Crete’s capital in Heraklion, at 6:17 UTC time. The epicenter was in between the villages of Arkalochori and Metaxochori in the heart of Heraklion Precture.
Emergency services are out here in Heraklion and in the villages, but so far unofficial reports of damage to stone buildings are coming in, but no major damage or injuries have been reported.
Some people in the region are reporting tremendous ground shake, and in Heraklion the felt effects were strong as well. We will keep you updated here.
This part of Crete is subject to fairly frequent quakes, but this morning’s event is the strongest in the prefecture in some time.