A strong earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale shook the central part of Crete, Greece, shortly after 9 am this morning. The epicenter was at the town of Arkalohori, which for twenty years became the seat of the new Arkalohori diocese of the semi-autonomous Cretan archbishopric (to the Ecumenical Patriarchate). Many buildings were destroyed, including several churches. The occupants of many houses remained on the streets because the houses either collapsed completely or became uninhabitable. Authorities immediately took steps to set up temporary camps for people whose homes were severely affected.
The only victim reported was a repair worker at the church “St. pror. Elijah ”at the height above Arkalochori. Two people worked at the temple to repair the damage from a series of earlier earthquakes this year, when the dome of the small temple suddenly collapsed and killed one of the workers on the spot. The other was pulled out unharmed from the rubble.
The Metropolitan of Arkalochoria, Dr. Andrew (Nanakis), who is also a professor of church history at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, immediately returned to his diocese to try to help his dioceses, as well as the priests whose temples were damaged and for now they will not be able to use.
The correspondent of dveri.bg from Crete (Orthodox priest Ivan Dobrev, a native of the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak and a graduate of the Faculty of Theology at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, living in the village of Panagia Monofaciu and the churches in the villages of southern Crete) reports that as of Tuesday, students are moving to distance learning due to difficulties with both damaged school buildings and the purely domestic nature of the families whose homes are affected. Moreover, the tremors continue, and some of them are over 5 on the Richter scale.