ATHENS, Greece – A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck the island of Crete in southern Greece on Monday, bringing residents to the streets. There was no quick information about the accidents, but local media reported damage to buildings in villages near the epicenter.
The Geodynamic Institute of Athens said the earthquake occurred at 9:17 a.m. local time (6:17 a.m. GMT), with an epicenter 246 kilometers (153 miles) southeast of the Greek capital, Athens.
The Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center and the US Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0, with an epicenter seven kilometers (4 miles) north of the village of Thrapsano. It is common for various seismological institutes to provide various magnitudes for an earthquake in the preliminary hours and days following an event.
Several aftershocks also hit the world, with the EMSC giving a preliminary magnitude of 4.6 for the strongest.
Residents of the city of Heraklion rushed into the streets. Local media in Crete reported some damage, mainly with the collapse of walls of obsolete stone buildings in villages near the epicenter of the quake on the Japanese part of the island. The children had been evacuated from the colleges.
The mayor of Heraklion, Vassilis Lambrinos, told Greek TV Skai that there had been no quick stories from the emergency services of accidents or extreme damage. He said the colleges had all been evacuated and needed to be checked for structural damage.