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Crete earthquake: At least one dead after Greek island is rocked by multiple tremors

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By Euronews
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Firefighters stand next to a demolished Greek Orthodox church of Profitis Ilias after a strong earthquake in Arkalochori, on the island of Crete, Greece, Sept. 27, 2021.
Firefighters stand next to a demolished Greek Orthodox church of Profitis Ilias after a strong earthquake in Arkalochori, on the island of Crete, Greece, Sept. 27, 2021.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Harry Nikos

At least one person was killed in Crete on Monday when a series of earthquakes rocked the Greek island, the government has confirmed.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck at about 08:15 CEST some 20 kilometres south of the port city of Heraklion, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

The island was then rocked by six other smaller earthquakes within two hours, the biggest registering at 4.6 and striking about 20 minutes after the first one, the EMSC said.

It added that aftershocks could continue to be felt "in the next hours/days."

The newly-created Ministry for Climate Change and Civil Protection said in a statement that according to information "from the competent authorities, one dead and nine injured are reported, while material damages are ascertained."

The ministry put the magnitude at 5.8 with Minister Christos Stylianides announcing he will travel to the island to assess the situation.

Residents of the city of Heraklion rushed out into the streets. Local media in Crete reported some damage, mainly with collapsing walls of old stone buildings in villages near the epicentre of the temblor on the eastern part of the island.

The Crete fire service said that they released an unconscious man from a chapel in Arkalochori, a small town some 32 kilometres southeast of Heraklion.

It added that several brigades have been deployed as well as special rescue equipment and rescue dogs to patrol.

Heraklion mayor Vassilis Lambrinos told Greek Skai television that schools were all evacuated and were to be checked for structural damage.

The region is no stranger to earthquakes. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake in the Aegean Sea on October 31, 2020, killed 37 people in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir and two children on the Greek island of Samos.