Tags: earthquake | greece | 6.4 | crete | athens

Earthquake in Greece Measuring 6.4 Rattles Crete, Felt in Athens

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 06:56 AM

By Michael Mullins

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An Earthquake in Greece caused structural damage on the island of Crete Saturday and was felt throughout the southern part of the country, including in the capital of Athens.

There were no reports of casualties or serious destruction, according to local police, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The earthquake, which struck at 4:12 pm local time, was measured at a 6.4 magnitude by the US Geological Survey and 6.2 magnitude by the state-run Athens News Agency.

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"The quake took place in an area known for its seismic activity," geology professor Efthymios Lekkas told Skai radio. "It was strongly felt in Crete but also in the rest of Greece."

The quake triggered tremors as far away as Greece's capital of Athens, approximately 180 miles from the quake's epicenter which was said to be 14 miles under the sea. Tremors were also reportedly felt across the southern part of the country in areas that included the Cyclades cluster of islands and the Peloponnese peninsula, according to the Athens Geological Institute.

"It was big. We were rattled a lot and the lights were swaying back and forth," resident Katerina Zaharioudaki told Reuters by telephone from Crete. "It was much stronger than the earthquakes we're used to and it lasted several seconds."

One of the city's closest to the quake's epicenter was that of Chania, Crete's second largest city.

"The earthquake was very strong and lasted long," Manoussos Lionakis, deputy mayor of the city of Chania, told the Associated Press. "Fortunately, there was no serious damage. The worst I've heard was some rock falls in a ravine west of the city. A bus was trapped, but no one was hurt. We have removed the debris."

"Right now we have employees inspecting the buildings in the old city, but, apart from some cracked marble facades here and there, we have found nothing," Lionakis added.

Greece, which lies between the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, is one of the most earthquake prone European nations.

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Greece has a long history of suffering from serious earthquakes that dates back all the way to 464 BC when an earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.2, struck the city-state of Sparta, killing some 20,000 people in the process, Nature.com reported.

Related stories:

Italy Earthquake Causes Damage Along Tuscan Coast; No Injuries Reported

5.3 Earthquake Hits Fukushima; No Further Damage to Nuclear Plant

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