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Tourists evacuate hotels during earthquake training on the Greek tourist island of Crete – just days after the real earthquake

Tourists evacuate hotels during earthquake training on the Greek tourist island of Crete – just days after the real earthquake


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Tourists rushed to evacuate hotels on a Greek tourist island today, in an exercise that ended up being a mock test for an earthquake.

“Practice, practice, practice,” said an emergency text message that alerted people on the island of Crete to a fake 7.2-magnitude earthquake off the city of Heraklion.

Tourists rushed to evacuate the hotel, while workers in suits provided first aid to an injured woman in a tent as part of earthquake drills dubbed “Minoas” after the legendary Cretan Bronze Age king.

British tourist Leah Pickles (36 years old), a hotel guest in Heraklion, said: “It is a good thing, because then we know what to do in real situations.”

The exercises were held just six days after a real earthquake measuring 3.8 magnitude occurred off the southwest coast of the island.

“We must be prepared for all scenarios. While we hope it will never be necessary, we must conduct real exercises involving all stakeholders to strengthen our preparedness,” said Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias at the scene.

Many took to social media after exercise:

Greece is often exposed to earthquakes because it is located on many faults.

Since a powerful earthquake killed 143 people near Athens in 1999, no tremors have caused deaths or serious damage, but the Mediterranean country has suffered from other emergencies such as forest fires and floods in recent years.

A forest fire on the island of Rhodes last summer devoured large areas of land and forced the evacuation of about 19,000 tourists and local residents, weeks before the worst fire in Europe that killed at least 20 people and destroyed an area larger than New York in the Evros province in the north.

Separately, a forest fire near the city of Chania in western Crete on Tuesday forced authorities to evacuate part of a naval base and nearby schools.

A fire brigade official later said that the fire had subsided.




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