6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Western Crete

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A powerful undersea earthquake rattled Greece’s southern island of Crete on Wednesday and was felt in the southern mainland, but there were no initial reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 for the quake, while Greece’s Geo-dynamic Institute gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.1. It is usual for slight variations in magnitudes from different geo-dynamic institutes. The quake occurred at 9:23 a.m. (0723 GMT) on Wednesday at a depth of 71 kilometres (44 miles) and was widely felt across much of the country, including in the capital Athens.

The temblor sent people running into the streets in western Crete, local media reported, but there were no initial reports of any damage or injury. A day earlier, a powerful quake in neighbouring Albania killed at least 25 people and caused damage in the coastal city of Durres and nearby areas.

“Earthquakes at this depth are normally single events and are not followed by many aftershocks,” said seismologist Efthimis Lekkas, head of Greece’s Earthquake Planning and Protection Organisation, said of the quake in southern Greece. “So, there is no serious cause for concern.”

Authorities on the island of Kythira, which was near the epicentre, ordered schools shut for the day as a precaution.

Source: Associated Press

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