Crete “danced” to the rhythms of Richter all night long, like after the great earthquake of 5.1 degrees on the Richter scale that occurred shortly before 22:00 on Thursday evening May 18, near Heraklion, more precisely in 9:58 p.m. of aftershocks, always at the same epicenter or a few kilometers
Specifically, according to the Geodynamic Institute, the epicenter of the large earthquake was located 7 kilometers south-southwest of Moira Heraklion, while its focal depth was calculated at 8.9 kilometers.
Among the dozens of aftershocks that followed one another throughout the night, upsetting the inhabitants of the sector, the most important in intensity was around 4.3 on the Richter scale and occurred at 02:53 a.m. Friday morning.
According to the Geodynamic Institute, the earthquake’s epicenter was located 6 kilometers north-northeast of Kala Limeni Heraklion, while the focal depth was estimated at 17.5 kilometers.
At the same time, from the time of the main earthquake, until 02.30 on Friday morning, aftershocks on the island had reached 17, the strongest measuring 3.9 Richter and occurring on 02.11, at 02.20 and on 03.10.
Due to the intense seismic activity observed in the last days in the region, but mainly due to the continuous aftershocks which followed the main earthquake of 5.1 Richter, and which were felt both in Heraklion and in the other cities of the island, the inhabitants of the surroundings, especially in the villages, they went out frightened in the streets and certainly many of them did not sleep at night.
The good thing is that no damage was reported in the wider area, either from the main earthquake or from the small aftershocks that followed throughout the night.
Schools are closed until further notice
There are concerns in the area, due to continued seismic activity. As a precautionary measure, the Mayor of Phaistos, Grigoris Nikolidakis, announced that all primary and secondary schools will remain closed today for safety reasons and to check for possible damage.
G. Papadopoulos on ERT: It’s too early to say it’s the main jolt
Seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos spoke to ERT about the strong 5.1 Richter earthquake that ‘shaken’ Heraklion, Crete on Thursday evening and the seismic sequence that woke the world, pointing out that the epicenter of the earthquake land was located southwest of Moira, on the island, and not in an underwater area.
This fact, as the experienced seismologist pointed out, is particularly interesting because it requires a lot of attention. “The earthquake was felt across most of the island. Several aftershocks followed, with smaller magnitudes, the largest of which was 3.9 Richter,” Papadopoulos said, pointing out seismic activity continues.
When asked if it was the main quake, he said it was still too early to say for sure. “Caution is needed because there is not enough scientific evidence and we must not give the false picture of complacency. It is too early. But the intense seismic sequence that followed the Richter earthquake of 5 .9 is quite encouraging, giving the timid impression of a main earthquake”.
As Mr. Papadopoulos said, it is very likely that the earthquake of 5.1 on the Richter scale that occurred yesterday at 9:58 p.m. originated from the active Pompia fault which in 1965 caused a strong earthquake of 6.1 on the Richter scale.
“It is not one of the most seismically active areas of Crete and the Greek area, but all the evidence shows that great care is needed,” he added, drawing world attention and competent authorities to monitor the phenomenon.
At the same time, Mr. Papadopoulos considered that the earthquake in Moiras of Heraklion is not related to the small earthquake that occurred yesterday in Arkalochori.
Mayor Phaistos: Residents are on the streets
The mayor of Phaistos, Mr Grigoris Nikolidakis, told Cretalive a few minutes after 11:00 p.m. Thursday evening, that “people have taken to the streets but so far there is no damage recorded”.
The inhabitants of Mesara communicate with their own who are in remote areas, without anything alarming being reported. The police are on alert. According to witnesses, a loud noise was heard, like continuous detonations.
See how the earthquake was recorded by the seismograph installed in the village of Siva in the prefecture of Heraklion:
See Akis Tselentis’ Facebook post: