Europe hit by third major quake in days as tremor strikes Crete

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The epicentre of an undersea earthquake that has rattled the Greek island of Crete (Quakeapp)

Southern Europe has been hit by its third major earthquake in days after a powerful undersea tremor rocked the Greek holiday island of Crete.

The US Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 for the quake, which occurred on Wednesday morning at a depth of 44 miles and was also felt on the southern mainland of Greece.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or major damage to buildings.

The quake comes just one day after at least 24 people were killed and more than 600 injured in a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania.

The tremors were felt on Crete and on the southern mainland (Getty)

The 6.4 magnitude quake was felt across the southern Balkans early on Tuesday and was followed by multiple aftershocks.

Just hours later in nearby Bosnia, another tremor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck south-east of the capital and rattled Sarajevo.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and only minor damage in that earthquake.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:

The accents that face the most bias in the UK

Hunt for intruder after ‘boy sexually assaulted in his bedroom’

Uber Eats driver, 46, 'kicked to death by gang' while protecting moped

Tuesday’s quake in Albania knocked down apartment buildings and hotels while people slept, and rescue crews worked late into the evening to free people who were believed to be trapped.

There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble, and neighbouring countries and EU nations sent search-and-rescue crews to help.

Local television stations in the early hours after the quake showed footage of a young boy being rescued from a collapsed building in the coastal town of Durres, 20 miles west of the capital, Tirana.

Emergency personnel work at the site of a collapsed building in the Albanian town of Durres after it was struck by a quake (Reuters)
At least 43 people have already been pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings after the magnitude-6.0 tremor (Reuters)

The boy was shown crying and shouting in pain as local men pulled mangled reinforcement bars out of the way while trying to try to free his leg from the rubble.

Hours later, live TV footage showed people cheering as another child was found alive in a collapsed building in Durres, where a body had been located earlier in the day.

Rescuers search a damaged building in Albania, as the death toll rose to at least 24 overnight (AP)
A firefighter tries to rescue a man stucked in the ruins of a collapsed building in Thumane, north-west of capital Tirana (Getty)

In total, 43 people had been rescued from the rubble of buildings by Tuesday evening.

The Albanian health ministry reported that about 600 people had been injured, including nine taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Members of Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority conduct a search and rescue operation at collapsed buildings in Durres (Getty)

The government on Wednesday declared a day of mourning for the victims, saying flags would be flown at half-mast.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.4 quake, which struck just before 4am local time, had an epicentre 19 miles north-west of Tirana at a depth of 12 miles.

The scores of aftershocks included three with preliminary magnitudes of between 5.1 and 5.4.

Emergency personnel work near a damaged building in the Albanian town of Thumane (Reuters)
A makeshift camp set up in Durres after the quake in Albania struck (Reuters)

The worst-hit areas were Durres, where 11 of the dead were found in collapsed buildings, and the northern town of Thumane, where another seven bodies were pulled from the rubble, according to the defence ministry.

In total at least three hotels, a residential villa and an apartment building collapsed in Durres, and one apartment building in Thumane.

One person died after jumping from his home to escape in Kurbin, 30 miles north of the capital, while another person was killed on a road that collapsed in the northern town of Lezha.

Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK