Two powerful earthquakes jolted the island of Crete in southern Greece today. There were no casualties.
The tremors came 90 minutes and some 200km apart, first a magnitude 5.6, then a 4.3. Both originated relatively deep - about 20km under the sea bed - yet they were strongly felt in the coastal cities of the island of Crete.
It was precisely there that the ancient Minoan civilisation was ended 3600 years ago by a massive volcanic eruption on the island of Thera or Santorini, 110km north of Crete. That volcano is acting up again. A British-led seismological survey published in Nature Geoscience says that as much as 20 million cubic metres of molten magma have flowed upwards in recent months, lifting the island about 14cm. That’s the biggest magma flow since 1955, when the island last erupted.