NEWS

Minister visits Crete in wake of latest quake

minister-visits-crete-in-wake-of-latest-quake

Shipping and Island Policy Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis on Wednesday visited the island of Crete to inspect the damages caused by Tuesday’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the southeastern region of Sitia.

He was expected to meet with Sitia Mayor Giorgos Zervakis and other local officials before taking a tour of the wider area.

On Tuesday, the Civil Defense Ministry dispatched disaster response units to Crete to help emergency services. Teams of police, firefighters and other responders were active on the island identifying damaged buildings and infrastructure and any possible casualties from the powerful quake that set thousands of people scurrying from their homes.

According to the ministry, there were no reports of injuries, neither on Crete nor on the nearby islands that also felt the tremor.

The coast guard was also mobilized to respond in the event that the undersea quake triggered a tsunami.

Damage was reported, particularly in the region of Sitia, while a small church collapsed on the outskirts of the village of Xirokambos. There were also reports of rockslides in many parts of the island.EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic tweeted on Tuesday that the blow was ready to mobilize international help if necessary.

Seismologist Efthymis Lekkas, who heads Greece’s Organization of Earthquake Planning and Protection (OASP), told state broadcaster ERT that Tuesday’s quake was the main one. However, he noted that experts would have to wait two days for the post-earthquake sequence.