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5.8 Quake Hits Crete, Killing One

Firefighters stand next to a demolished Greek Orthodox church of Profitis Ilias after a strong earthquake in Arkalochori village on the southern island of Crete, Greece, Sept. 27, 2021.

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked the Greek island of Crete Monday morning, leaving at least one person dead and several injured.

Across the island, people were reportedly seen running out of buildings and homes, while many older buildings suffered damage.

“The earthquake was strong and was long in duration,” Heraklion Mayor Vassilis Lambrinos told private Antenna television.

Greek authorities dispatched civil engineers around the island to assess damage.

“We are urging people who live in damaged older buildings to remain outdoors. One aftershock can cause a collapse,” seismologist Efthimios Lekkas, who heads Greece's Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, told The Associated Press. “We are talking about structures built before 1970. Structures built after 1985 are built to a higher standard that can withstand the effect of an earthquake.”

Crete is a popular tourist destination, and according to reports, the quake did not disrupt international flights to Heraklion, nor did it cause serious damage to hotels.

The only known fatality was in the town of Arkalochori, which is about 30 kilometers outside of Heraklion. A man was reportedly working on the renovation of a chapel when the dome caved in.

Some information in this report comes from Reuters and The Associated Press.