ATHENS, Greece | A worker working in a collapsed church died Monday in the strong earthquake that rocked the Greek island of Crete and also left nine injured, a civil protection official told AFP.
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The earthquake, of magnitude 5.8 according to the Geodynamic Observatory of Athens, 6 according to the American Institute USGS, occurred at 6:17 a.m. (local time) 23 km from Heraklion, the capital of Crete and particularly affected the agricultural town of Arkolohori.
“So far a man has died and 11 people have been hospitalized suffering mainly from fractures”, told AFP an official of the press office of the center of emergency units (Ekav).
At first, media and residents only reported material damage, but two hours after the shock, Spyros Georgiou, head of the Civil Protection press office told AFP that there was ” one dead and nine injured ”.
The fatal victim and the injured are residents of Arkolohori where extensive damage was noted, according to Spiros Georgiou. Nine people were slightly injured, he said.
The epicenter of the earthquake, with a depth of 10 km, was recorded 346 km south of the Greek capital, according to the Athens Observatory.
Images broadcast by public television ERT showed extensive damage, in particular the collapse of old houses in Arkalohori and other surrounding villages, near Heraklion.
“It is an earthquake that we did not expect, for the moment there are aftershocks of 4.5”, indicated the seismologist Efthymis Lekkas, president of the organization of anti-seismic protection, quoted by the Agency. Greek press ANA.
The Minister of Civil Protection Christos Stylianides, accompanied by Mr. Lekkas and a team of services against natural disasters (Emak) is to visit Crete in the next few hours, according to the ERT channel.
Greece is crossed by important geological faults and earthquakes are frequent.
The last deadly earthquake occurred on March 3 in central Greece, in Elassona, leaving one dead and ten injured as well as extensive damage.
On October 30, 2020, a magnitude 7 earthquake rocked the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and the Turkish city of Izmir, killing 114 in Turkey and two in Samos.
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