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Strong earthquake strikes Greek island

May 2, 2020

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake has hit the island of Crete with a strong aftershock reported several minutes later. Residents rushed to their balconies as they experienced several seconds of shaking.

A beach on the island of Crete
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/H. Knosowski

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 has struck south of the Greek island of Crete.

The US Geological Service said the Saturday afternoon quake was centered in the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of 17 kilometers (10.5 miles.)

The nearest populated areas are about 90 kilometers (56 Miles) north, the village of Nea Anatoli and the town of Ierapetra, the USGS said.

Two more aftershocks, with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 and 4.1, followed in the same general area as the original earthquake.

There were no reports of damage or injuries.

Read more: How Greece's crisis is helping it bend the COVID-19 curve

Children left behind in camps

'Lasted several seconds'

State news agency ANA reported that people in Iraklio, Crete's major city located on the island's north coast, said they felt the first earthquake for several seconds and some people went to their balconies.

Greece is located in a highly seismically active area and experiences hundreds of quakes each year.

The last deadly quake occurred in the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea in July 2017. The 6.7-magnitude quake killed two people.

The deadliest temblor in recent years struck the Athens region in 1999, killing 143 people.

Saturday's quake was stronger than most but took place relatively far from populated areas.

mm/dr (AP, Reuters)