A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Greek island of Crete this morning. One person died and at least nine others were injured. The ongoing tremors have also affected Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya and North Macedonia.
Greece and Turkey are both located on fault lines (geological fractures on the surface of rocks), so earthquakes are quite common in this part of the world. Crete experiences earthquakes every year, but the last major event was in 1994 when a magnitude of 6.3 struck the island.
What does today’s earthquake mean to people who booked a vacation on the island?
Which parts of the island have been the most affected?
The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) say that the epicenter of the earthquake was the city of Arkalochori, located in the district of Heraklion.
The rupture was 10 kilometers deep, and was felt in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey.
Is it safe to travel to Crete after the earthquake?
According to information published in the press, several hotels were evacuated this morning in Arkalochori and its surroundings. This was mainly due to structural problems, as several buildings were damaged.
Customers are now transferred to other hotels away from high rise buildings.
Aftershocks continued to rock the country throughout the day, with one reaching a magnitude of 4.6. However, no airline or tourist operator has so far announced that it will cancel trips to and from Crete.
If I cancel my vacation, can I request insurance?
Natural disasters like this can be unpredictable. A tsunami alert has already been issued for Turkey as the earthquake was felt in the Aegean Sea. This particularly affected the Datca district.
Whether or not your travel insurance covers reimbursements – if you decide not to travel – depends on your provider. UK-based holiday company TUI earlier released a statement saying that ‘we would like to reassure guests due to their travel to Crete that the airport is open normally and that our flights, including those to Heraklion and Chania tomorrow will operate normally. “
In general, refusal to travel for security reasons is generally not refundable unless notified by the authorities.
Will there be another earthquake in Crete?
Aftershocks are frequent after an earthquake – they can occur a few minutes, days or months after the event. Usually aftershocks are not as strong as the initial quake, but authorities will still issue warnings.
If the structural integrity of a building has already been affected by the initial blow, aftershocks can be particularly dangerous.
They can also lead to other problems like tsunamis. In this case, it is advisable to go as far as possible inland.
Has the Cretan earthquake affected you or someone you know? Let us know on Twitter @euronewtravel.