East of Crete, at 11:24 AM Dutch time, there was an earthquake below the seabed with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was about 100 kilometers from the Greek island’s capital, Heraklion. Swen and Cynthia Blikman from Zierikzee were there when ‘suddenly everything started to shake’.
The authorities have warned of a tidal wave as a precaution, but no casualties have been reported in Crete. According to the first reports, a church has collapsed in the east of the island. Greek police and fire brigade are currently checking buildings in the Sitia region.
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Almost simultaneously an earthquake was reported near the island of Karpathos, more than 80 kilometers east of Crete. According to the first reports, the quake had a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale and would also have been felt in neighboring countries. For example, international media report that the ground in Egypt and Cyprus has also been shaken. Just over two weeks ago, the island of Crete itself was hit by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. Then one person was killed and a dozen injured.
As if nothing had happened
The Dutch Swen and Cynthia Blikman are on holiday on the Greek island and had planned a trip to Sitia for today. That is where the earthquake was strongest. ,,This morning we were still at the harbor town of Agios Nikolaos, then we sat down on a terrace in Elounda”, says Swen. “All of a sudden everything started shaking. It seemed like we were sitting on a floating terrace, but we were just sitting on the floor. I looked at my wife, and neither of us could place it. Until we looked inside and saw the lamps shake too.”
The tourists panicked, but the Greeks just kept doing what they were doing
You would think that an earthquake of such magnitude would cause a lot of panic, but that was absolutely not the case in Elounda, says Swen: ,,That was the strangest thing. We were both disoriented but the staff just carried on as if nothing had happened. We saw images of Heraklion where everyone was on the street, but that was really not the case there. The tourists panicked, but the Greeks just kept doing what they were doing.”
Despite their plans, Swen and Cynthia have decided to go back to the hotel. “We didn’t see any damage, but we didn’t want to risk it to continue.”
The earthquake could be felt in the city of Sitia, among others:
Parents are clamoring at school gates to pick up their children from school after the earthquake:
This shop was also not spared:
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