Earthquake in Crete: Tsunami warning after earthquake kills one, overturns buildings – World News

At least one person died and nine injured and several people remained trapped under the debris after a major earthquake rocked the Greek island of Crete.

Holidaymakers were evacuated from hotels and students withdrawn from schools, as neighboring Turkey issued a tsunami warning.

British tourists told the Mirror how people “ran and shouted” as they poured into the streets, and the ground “shook from side to side”.

The 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the island on Monday shortly after 9:15 a.m. local time, the European Seismological Center for the Mediterranean (EMSC) said.

It was 1.24 miles deep and occurred 23 km southeast of the capital of Heraklion Island, the EMSC added.

A number of aftershocks also hit the area, the strongest registering a magnitude of 4.6, according to the authority.

Some buildings suffered severe structural damage and walls collapsed as a result of the tremors, with photos showing bricks and dust strewn across the streets.

Have you been affected by the earthquake? Let us know at [email protected]








At least one person died and nine were injured when an earthquake hit Greece’s largest island
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Picture:

NIKOS CHALKIADAKIS / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)



One person has died after the dome of the Prophet Elias church in the town of Arkalochori – which appears to be the most affected – collapsed, trapping three workers inside, reports protothema.gr.

Another person from the village of Patsideros was trapped inside his own house because of the rubble in front of his front door before being rescued.

A group of people also managed to break free after being trapped in a pharmacy, according to reports.

Vassilis Lambrinos, the mayor of Heraklion, told Greek TV Skai that all schools had been allowed to check for structural damage.








Building cordoned off in Arkalochori following earthquake
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Picture:

NIKOS CHALKIADAKIS / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)



Authorities have deployed helicopters to assess the extent of the damage and direct rescue teams, and have already received reports of extensive damage to water supply networks as well as buildings.

A video clip shows a panicked woman telling her father to calm down and everything is shaking.

Former Met Police Officer Michiela Medcraft said she was having breakfast in her hotel restaurant in the resort town of Creta Maris in Crete when the earthquake struck.

“It looked like a huge truck was driving past the hotel, then it got really noisy,” the 55-year-old told the Mirror.








A cameraman films amid the rubble of a demolished church
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“You just felt things shake. I looked at my son and we both said ‘it’s an earthquake’.

“Then people started screaming and ran out of the restaurant. I didn’t expect people to react like that, but I’ve never been in an earthquake.

“Some people looked really terrified and I sat there and ate another bite of my croissant and said ‘keep calm, it’s going to be okay’.”








Michiela Medcraft with her children Rebecca and Damien
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Michiela Medcraft)



Michiela was with her 29-year-old twin son and daughter, the latter having learning disabilities.

She said that due to the years spent helping her daughter stay calm, as well as her job as a police officer, she didn’t want to overreact.

“At first I thought the windows had shattered but it must have been glasses on the tables,” she continued.








Hotel guests gathered at an evacuation point
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Michiela Medcraft)



Hotel staff then escorted everyone to an RVP point in a parking lot across the road.

“There were children who were crying, but I think it was more the reaction of people screaming and running that scared them,” Michiela said.

With a manager announcing that it would be an hour before people could enter the hotel while they were doing security checks, the mother and her children took to the beach.








Firefighters search for people in the rubble of a demolished church
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“We were sitting on the beach and felt an aftershock, and it was quite strange,” said Michiela, originally from Harlow, Essex, but now living in Suffolk since her retirement in December.

“We were lying on the sunbeds and you felt the beach below you started to shake, but it was not as strong as the first one.”

Less than an hour later, they were back around the hotel pool and “it was like nothing had happened,” she added.

Another British tourist Nigel Blythe, who rents an Airbnb apartment on the first floor in Ziros, in south-eastern Crete, was also having breakfast when the ground started to ‘shake from side to side’ .








A damaged church in Roussochoria, eastern Crete
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Picture:

NIKOS CHALKIADAKIS / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)



The 59-year-old, who has been living in the farming village since September 1, told the Mirror: “I thought I was imagining it first, then I rushed out of the apartment.

“It was very clear that the whole apartment was shaking from side to side. I was trying to think quickly and grab things, and literally walk out the door.

“It was quite dramatic.”

Nigel, from Worcester, went on to say that the tremors only lasted about 15 seconds and by the time he realized what was going on and got to the door, it was over.

“I locked my laptop in my room and it’s the furthest point from the door.








Firefighters transport body of deceased to Arkalochori village
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“Oddly enough, even though I thought the building was going to collapse, my first thought was my computer because of my job.

“By the time I got to the door the shaking had stopped.

“I was slow to react because I thought I was imagining what was going on at the start,” he added.

When he finally got out he said he was reassured that there was no one else around and he assumed it was a fairly normal event.








Resident responds to Heraklion earthquake
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Nigel said he briefly considered returning to the UK but has now decided to stay and is considering possibly buying a motorhome so he can spend several months a year on the island.

Another British holidaymaker – who wished to remain anonymous – was also having breakfast when the earthquake struck.

She told the Mirror: “It was scary for a while. Everyone grabbed their glasses and looked at each other, but luckily it happened quickly and there was no damage.”




Sarah Williams-Long, doctor at King’s Hospital in London who was staying at the seaside resort of Creta Maris with her partner and her three-year-old son declared to the independent that the experience was heartbreaking.

She said: “They evacuated us from our hotel in case there is a second earthquake – we are waiting to be taken to a hotel away from the taller buildings.

“We hope to be able to return to the hotel if nothing happens in the next 40 minutes. It was terrifying. At first there was only a very slight rumble, like waiting for an underground train, but it quickly increased, causing the building to shake.

“Everyone instinctively slipped under the tables until we were asked to leave the building. Some people were visibly shaken – one of the bosses collapsed. It was very dramatic. “








Local residents on the street after the earthquake
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Picture:

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Another Briton told EMSC: “Coming from England, I have never experienced an earthquake like this. I was rather scared. The building does not appear to have suffered any damage.

This added that there were “cracks in the paving”.

Pete Goodwin, who was about to return to the UK, said on Twitter: “I just experienced a really strong earthquake / earthquake in Crete!”

As an islander tweeted: “Okay, that was interesting – just as we were finishing breakfast it looked like a truck was going through the wall and everything shook.

“Online reports show it is a # 5.6 to 6.3 magnitude earthquake epicenter a few miles away. # Crete.”

Another wrote: “I am shaking so much this is the biggest, scariest earthquake I have ever experienced.”

The earthquake affected countries Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Libya and North Macedonia.

Some social media users said they felt tremors all the way to Santorini and Analipsi.







The epicenter of the earthquake was 25 km from the island’s capital, Heraklion



It comes just two weeks after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck near the holiday island Kos, at a shallow depth of 10 km below the epicenter on September 11.

Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, which means earthquakes are common.

However, compared to other more active parts of the world, most Greek earthquakes are relatively mild.


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