Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits Crete, Greece

Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits Crete, Greece

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) as M6.3 hit the eastern coast of Crete, Greece at 09:24 UTC on October 12, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 8.2 km (5 miles). USGS is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). This is the second powerful quake to hit Crete since September 27.

The epicenter was located about 600 m (0.3 miles) SSE of Palekastro (population 1 094), 51 km (31 miles) SE of Sitia (population 8 700), and 124 km (77 miles) ESE of Irakleion (population 137 000), Greece.

There are about 90 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

12 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 7 000 strong, 44 000 moderate, and 640 000 light.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and Yellow for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Greece. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and low-rise nonductile concrete frame with infill construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Image credit: USGS

Nearly 4 000 homes have been declared uninhabitable after the shallow M6.0 (M5.8) earthquake hit Crete, Greece at 06:17 UTC on September 27, 2021.1

By Wednesday, October 6, engineering teams from the Ministry of Infrastructure had surveyed a total of 8 540 buildings, including 7 015 residences, of which 3 906 or 56% have been declared uninhabitable.

In addition, 345 or 52% of business premises examined are unstable as well as over 4 in 5 or 82% of the sheds and farm buildings inspected.

Image credit: TW, Google


1 Strong and shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Crete, Greece - The Watchers

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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