Strong quake hits Greece's biggest island of Crete, one person killed

Firefighters looking for people in the rubble of a church that was demolished following an earthquake in Arkalochori, Crete, on Sept 27, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
Pupils and teachers waiting in a square in Heraklion, Crete, after the island was hit by an earthquake, on Sept 27, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (REUTERS) - A strong earthquake measuring 5.8 shook Greece's largest island Crete on Monday (Sept 27) and one person was killed when a church dome collapsed, the authorities said.

The quake, which sent people out of their homes and public buildings and caused considerable damage, was described by Greek seismologist Efthymios Lekkas as a "thunderbolt" with strong aftershocks.

A man died when the dome of a church in the town of Arkalochori caved in during renovation works, a police official said.

Civil protection authorities said nine people were injured in the quake, which damaged many buildings.

The tremor prompted many people in Crete's main city Heraklion to rush outdoors. Schoolchildren were told to leave their classrooms, gathering in schoolyards and town squares.

"It felt quite strong and lasted many seconds," a local mayor told Skai television.

The Athens' Institute of Geodynamics said the quake's magnitude reached 5.8 and its epicentre was 23km north-west of Arvi in south-eastern Crete, at a depth of 10km.

Earlier, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the earthquake measured 6.5, while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.0.

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