Greece Earthquake: 6.4 Magnitude Quake Hits Crete

 @jiillx
on October 14 2013 1:14 PM

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of Crete on Saturday, causing minor damage to shops and houses, but did not result in any reported casualties.

The earthquake reportedly took place at 4:12 p.m. (1312 GMT) and occurred at a depth of 22.5 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It could be felt throughout Greece, even in Athens, which is approximately 173 miles from the quake’s epicenter.

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

According to the regional newspaper Haniotika Nea, one person in Hania, a city 42 miles east of the quake’s epicenter, sustained minor injuries during the quake after jumping from a balcony. The man, who has not been identified, reportedly panicked and flung himself from a first-floor window, landing on a car.

Despite the region’s reportedly high seismicity, a female resident of Hania told Agence Free-Presse that the duration of the quake was out of the ordinary. "It was very impressive because the shaking lasted some 40-50 seconds,” the woman, who identified herself as Vassia, said.

Local officials corroborated that report. "The earthquake was very strong and lasted long," Manoussos Lionakis, the deputy mayor of Hania, said. "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.”

He added: "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.”

The Associated Press reported that the earthquake prompted residents to run into the streets, but local firefighters said there had not been any emergency calls or serious damage.

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