5.8 magnitude quake struck at 9:17 am local time

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 5.8 struck the Greek island of Crete on Monday, killing one person and injuring several others, while damaging homes and churches and causing rock slides near the country’s fourth-largest city, the Associated Press reports.

The quake sent people fleeing into the streets in the city of Heraklion, and schools were evacuated. Repeated aftershocks rattled the area, adding to damage in villages near the epicenter.

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

The Athens Geodynamic Institute, which gave the 5.8 magnitude, said the quake struck at 9:17 a.m. (0617 GMT), with an epicenter 246 kilometers (153 miles) south southeast of the Greek capital, Athens.

“This is not an event that occurred without warning. We have seen activity in this region for several months. This was a strong earthquake, it was not under sea but under land and affecting populated areas,” seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos said on Greece’s state broadcaster ERT.

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