A Strong earthquake in Greece shook the island of Crete, causing some damage.
The quake had a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale, but early reports indicate that damage is minimal.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake occurred at 4:12 p.m. (13.12 GMT), 68 kilometers (42 miles) west of the city of Chania, in Crete, and 279 kilometers (172 miles) south of Athens. The epicenter was 23 kilometers (14 miles) under the sea.
Chania deputy mayor Manoussos Lionakis told The Associated Press: “The earthquake was very strong and lasted long… 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,” he added.
There is a report in a local newspaper Chaniotijka Nea, that a resident of Chania was slightly injured when he panicked and jumped off a first-floor balcony, landing on a car.
Other local media reported people panicking in Chania and Iraklio, the island’s largest city east of Chania, and rushing into the streets. However, firefighters in Chania said there was no serious damage and no emergency calls.
There have been many earthquakes in Greece, some, naturally, more serious than others.. Last June, a 5.6-magnitude quake struck south of Crete, but again with no serious damage.
Earthquakes over magnitude 4 occur frequently. The most recent very serious earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.9, struck near Athens in September 1999. The result was 143 dead, 110 collapsed buildings and more than 5,000 buildings severely damaged
The quake with the largest magnitude of recent years occurred in 1956. It showed 7.8 on the Richter scale, and triggered a tsunami in the Aegean Sea. Amazingly, less than 50 people lost their lives.