M6.2 earthquake strikes west of Greek island of Crete
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 5:27 PM -
A very strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 struck west of the Greek island of Crete, causing minor damage, according to early reports.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake took place at 4:12 p.m. local time, 68 km west of the city of Chania, in Crete, and 279 km south of Athens. The epicenter was 23 km under the sea and was also felt in the capital city of Athens.
"The earthquake was very strong and lasted long,'' Chania deputy mayor Manoussos Lionakis told The Associated Press. "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.
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A local newspaper, Chaniotijka Nea, reports that a resident of Chania was injured, not seriously, when he panicked and jumped off afirst-floor balcony, landing on a car.
Local media reported anxious citizens in Chania and Iraklio, the island's largest city east of Chania, rushing into the streets. Firefighters in Chania said there was no serious damage and no emergency calls.
Strong earthquakes are not rare in Greece. The deadliest recent earthquake, of 5.9 magnitude, struck near Athens in September 1999, resulting in 143 dead, 110 collapsed buildings and more than 5,000 buildings severely damaged.
With files from The Associated Press