East of Crete, at 11:24 am Dutch time, an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale occurred under the sea floor. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 100 kilometers from the capital of the Greek island, Heraklion. Swain and Cynthia Blakeman from Zierikzee were there when “suddenly everything started shaking”.
Authorities have warned of the tsunami as a precaution, but no casualties have been reported on Crete. According to the first reports, a church in the east of the island has collapsed. Greek police and firefighters are currently checking buildings in the Sitia region.
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Almost simultaneously, an earthquake was reported near the island of Karpathos, more than 80 kilometers east of Crete. According to the first reports, the earthquake measured 4.5 on the Richter scale and could be felt in neighboring countries. For example, international media reported that the ground in Egypt and Cyprus also shook. More than two weeks ago, the island of Crete itself was hit by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Then one person was killed and dozens wounded.
As if nothing happened
Dutchmen Swain and Cynthia Blakeman are vacationing on the Greek island and have planned a trip to Sitia today. This is where the earthquake was strongest. “This morning we were still in the port city of Agios Nikolaos, and then we sat on a balcony in Elounda,” says Swain. Suddenly everything started shaking. Looks like we were sitting on a floating balcony, but we were sitting on the floor. I looked at my wife, and neither of us could put her down. Until we looked inside and saw the lamps vibrate as well.”
The tourists panicked, but the Greeks kept doing what they were doing
You might think that an earthquake of such a magnitude would cause so much panic, but that was not at all the case in Elounda, says Swain: ‘It was the strangest thing.’ We were confused but the staff kept working as if nothing had happened. We had seen pictures of Heraklion where everyone was on the street, but that wasn’t actually the case there. The tourists panicked, but the Greeks kept doing what they were doing.”
Despite their plans, Swain and Cynthia decide to return to the hotel. “We didn’t see any damage, but we didn’t want to risk continuing.”
The earthquake can be felt in the city of Sitia, among others:
Parents are asking at the school gates to pick up their children from school after the earthquake:
This shop also spared:
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