A Seismic History of Crete

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The seismicity in Greece and in the adjacent regions is the highest in the Western Eurasia. One of the most active seismotectonic structures in that region is the Hellenic Arc and Trench (H-AT) system. The island of Crete occupies the central segment of H-AT just to the north of the front where the lithospheric plates of Africa and Eurasia converge and the former bends and subducts beneath the later. Therefore, the shallow and intermediate-depth seismicity in the area of Crete is very high. In addition, these processes produce other important geodynamic phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions along the South Aegean Sea island arc as well as tsunamis.

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  • A Seismic

    Earthquakes and Tsunamis: 2000 BC 2011 AD

    The Hellenic Arc and Trench

    GerasSimos A. Papadopoulos

    Historyof Crete

    National Observatory of Athens

    Ocelotos Publications

  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis: 2000 BC 2011 AD

    The Hellenic Arc and Trench

    GerasSimos A. Papadopoulos

    title A Seismic History of Crete suBtitle Th e Hellenic Arc and Trenchauthor Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos

    PuBlishers sieries Science [5358]0611/03Book desiGn Ocelotos Publications

    Copyright 2011 Gerassimos A. Papadopoulosfirst PuBlished Athens, October 2011

    ISBN 978-960-9499-68-2

    Vatatzi 55 str., 114 73 Athens EL. : 210 6431108E-MAIL: ekdoseis.ocelotos@gmail.com, ocelotos@otenet.gr

    www. ocelotos. gr

    This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licens-ing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of the author and of Ocelotos Publications.

    pub l i ca t i onsocelotos

  • To the undying memory of Smaroula

    for ever loved, for ever missed

  • ,

    , , .

    , , 172-174

    There is a land in the middle of the dark sea,Crete: beautiful, prolific, surrounded by the sea,

    and there are ninety cities with uncountable people.

    Odyssey, Rapsody T, 172-174

    . .

    , .

    , , 57-60

    .and from underneath Poseidon shook off the immense Earth and the mountains steep tops. And all foothills of Idi were shaken along with the

    many jets of water and the mountains tops,

    and the city of Troyans as well as the boats of the Achaians.

    Iliad, Rapsody Y, 57-60

  • ContentsPreface .......................................................................................................................................................11Why Write a Book about Earthquakes in the Area of Crete? ..................................................11The History of this Book and Some Acknowledgements ........................................................13

    Chapter1 Geodynamics, Seismotectonic Setting and Seismicity .....................................................17Geology ......................................................................................................................................................17Geodynamics ...........................................................................................................................................18Seismicity and Seismic Hazard ..........................................................................................................21Fault-plane Solutions and Stress Field ...........................................................................................22Seismotectonic Imaging .....................................................................................................................23Microearthquakes Associated with Karsts ....................................................................................26Morphogenic Earthquakes and Palaeoseismology ...................................................................27

    Chapter 2Information Sources, Data and Methodology .......................................................................31Pre-historical Period: Before the 6th Century BC .......................................................................31Historical Period: From the 6th Century BC up to the End of the

    19th Century AD ........................................................................................................................31The Unpublished Manuscript of Pavlos Vlastos (1850-1926) .................................................39Coping with Idioms ...............................................................................................................................40Instrumental Period: After 1898 ......................................................................................................40Methodology ...........................................................................................................................................40A New Historical Catalogue ................................................................................................................42

    Chapter 3Key Events and Key Test-Sites........................................................................................................43The Giant Late Bronze Age (LBA) Eruption of Thera Volcano ................................................43Tsunamis Associated with the LBA Eruption ...............................................................................44The Archaeological Site of Gortyn, Central-South Crete .........................................................52The Archaeological Site of Phalasarna, NW Crete: the Key Earthquake and

    Tsunami Events of 66 AD and 365 AD ...............................................................................52The Key Earthquake and Tsunami Event of 1303 .......................................................................61The Earthquake of 1508 .......................................................................................................................61The 1650 Eruption of Columbo, Thera Island Complex ...........................................................61The Earthquake of 1810 ......................................................................................................................63The Earthquake of 1856 .......................................................................................................................63

    Chapter 4Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Minoan and Doric Crete (20th century

    to 2nd century BC) .................................................................................................................64Discovery and Chronology of the Minoan Civilisation ...........................................................64Evidence of Seismic Destruction in Minoan Crete .....................................................................68Association Between Volcanic Eruptions and Intermediate-depth

  • Contents

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    Earthquakes: A Geodynamic Scenario ..............................................................................75From the Minoan period to the Roman period ..........................................................................78

    Chapter 5Earthquakes and Tsunamis During the Roman Occupation

    (1st Century BC to 3rd Century AD) ...............................................................................80Short Historical Review ........................................................................................................................80Review of Earthquake Events in the Roman Period ..................................................................80

    Chapter 6Earthquakes and Tsunamis During the Byzantine Period

    (330-824 and 961-1211) and the Arabic Occupation (824-961) ......................90Short Historical Review ........................................................................................................................90Review of Earthquake Events in the Byzantine period ............................................................90How Often Will the 365 Earthquake Repeat? ........................................................................... 106

    Chapter 7Earthquakes and Tsunamis During the Venetian Occupation (1211-1669).............. 115Short Historical Review ..................................................................................................................... 115Review of Earthquake Events in the Venetian Period ............................................................ 116

    Chapter 8Earthquakes and Tsunamis During the Turkish Occupation (1669-1898) ............... 184Short Historical Review ..................................................................................................................... 184Review of Earthquake Events in the Ottoman Period ........................................................... 185

    Chapter 9Earthquakes and Tsunamis During the Period of the Autonomy

    of Crete The Primitive Instrumental Period (1899-1913) ............................. 303Short Historical Review ..................................................................................................................... 303Review of Earthquake Events in the Primitive Instrumental Period ................................ 304

    Chapter 10Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Crete in the Early Instrumental Period

    (1914-1963) ........................................................................................................................... 342Short Historical Review ..................................................................................................................... 342Review of Earthquake Events in the Early Instrumental Period ......................................... 342

    Chapter 11Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Crete in the Modern Instrumental

    Period (1964-2011) ............................................................................................................. 354References ........................................................................................................................................... 364Sources ................................................................................................................................................... 390Abbreviations ...................................................................................................................................... 392Appendix I: Empirical Relationships ........................................................................................... 393Appendix II: The New Tsunami Intensity Scale ........................................................................ 395Appendix III: List of earthquake events ..................................................................................... 398

  • 11

    Preface

    Why Write a Book about Earthquakes in the Area of Crete?

    Seismicity in Greece and in the adjacent regions is the highest in all of Western Eurasia. One of the most active seismotectonic structures in that region is the Hellenic Arc and Trench (H-AT) system. The island of Crete, which is part of the sedimentary arc of the H-AT, is situated at the central segment of the H-AT just to the north of the plate margin where the lithospheric plates of Africa and Eurasia converge. Since this is where the former bends and subducts beneath the latter, the shallow and intermediate-depth seismicity in and around Crete is very high. In addition, these processes produce other important geody-namic phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and tsunamis along the South Aegean Sea island arc.

    Cretan civilisation was among the earliest to develop, so the record of earthquakes is ex-tensive. Around 2000 BC, an important development emerged from the Minoan civili-sation: the construction of large buildings called palaces. Such palaces were construct-ed mainly in Knossos, Phaistos, Ayia Triada and Malia, and the impact of earthquakes on these monumental buildings and other Minoan settlements was charted throughout this Bronze Age civilisation, from 2000 BC up to about 1200 BC.

    Data sets of historical and instrumental earthquakes indicate that this area is prone to shallow and intermediate-depth earthquakes with maximum magnitudes up to about 8 and over. The AD 365 and 1303 earthquakes, two of the largest ever reported in the Euro-pean-Mediterranean region, occurred along the H-AT system. The first, with an estimated magnitude of 8.3, very likely ruptured the segment to the west of Crete, while the sec-ond, with an estimated magnitude of 8.0, ruptured the segment to the east of the island. Both events were catastrophic and the destruction was completed by the large tsunamis caused by each earthquake. Those two tsunamis were the largest historically documented in the European-Mediterranean region, given that they inundated not only coastal zones

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    of Crete, but also propagated to remote places of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin caus-ing extensive damage.

    There is no active volcanism on the island of Crete. However, eruptions occurring in the volcanic complex of Thera, which is situated about 120 km to the north of Crete, have had significant impact on the island. The impact of the giant, caldera forming Late Bronze Age or Minoan eruption (17th century BC) has long been a source of discussion. There is no doubt that, among other phenomena associated with the eruption, a large tsunami was triggered that flooded the northern coast of Crete, as is evidenced by tsunami sediment deposits, and further verified by numerical simulations of the wave. Historical documen-tation of the extra-caldera eruption of the submarine volcanic edifice of Columbos, in AD 1650, indicated that a large tsunami was produced again, which propagated well into the South Aegean Sea and inundated the northern coast of Crete. And once again the same results were yielded following the tsunami produced by the large tectonic earthquake of 9 July 1956, which ruptured part of the Cyclades island complex in the South Aegean Sea.

    The very rich seismic history of the area of Crete has thus far been documented by his-torical sources as well as instrumental records. However, this historical documentation is incomplete and several earthquake incidents remained unknown thus far. In addition, some vital events of the instrumental era of seismicity had not been well-studied. There-fore, the first objective of this book is to illustrate the need to review further the historical seismicity of Crete.

    It is worth noting that new knowledge about the historical earthquake phenomena in the area of Crete was accumulated from field geological and archaeological observations and analytical laboratory results, e.g., for dating purposes, as well as from numerical modeling and other studies of tsunamis. Until now, such observations and techniques were not in-tegrated in a unified methodological approach as a supplement to historical and instru-mental documentation. This unique methodology in data integration has provided the second objective for writing this book. In fact, for each of the seismic events examined, particularly the major ones, all available information was taken into account with the aim to understand the event better: documentary sources, damage to buildings and other structures, geological and archaeological field observations, instrumental records, pictori-cal material, influence on social, political and cultural life.

    The third reason that prompted the decision to write this book is actually based on three key events that have taken place in the area of Crete: the Late Bronge Age (LBA) or Mi-noan eruption of Thera, and its associated large tsunami; and the big tsunamigenic earth-quakes of AD 365 and 1303. The volcano of Thera, as well as the tectonic segments that generated the 365 and 1303 earthquakes, were very recently identified as sources of Su-matra-type tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea (Papadopoulos et al. 2008a). Future occur-rences of such extreme earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis would have drastic

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    consequences for the communities in a large part of the Mediterranean Basin. Therefore, in-depth study by all available means is a scientific challenge of great necessity.

    The History of this Book and Some Acknowledgements

    I would like to express my sincere thanks to a great many people who helped me a lot, in countless ways both direct and indirect over the past 25 years or so, in compiling and evaluating material useful for writing this book.

    The idea for writing a book about the history of the intermediate-depth earthquakes oc-curring along the HA-T was sparked after discussions I had with the late Prof. Keiiti Aki and Prof. Ari Ben-Menahem. In 1984 I remained on as a post-doctoral visiting scientist at the seismological laboratory of MIT, Boston, USA. During our time there together, A. Ben-Menahem reported to me that in the Middle East he found historical evidence for wide-spread strong earth shaking, but for which he was unable to locate the causative earth-quakes. I surmised that the strong propagation towards the Eastern Mediterranean of the seismic energy radiated by large, intermediate-depth earthquakes in the area of Crete and the HA-T in general may well explain his observations. On the other hand, K. Aki then explained that exactly the same feature had already been observed in the Japan Arc and other island arcs around the Pacific Ocean. Thus began the discussions that would lead to this book.

    I first learned about the peculiar geophysical properties of intermediate-depth earth-quakes from Prof. B. Papazachos, University of Thessaloniki, supervisor of my PhD Thesis on the deep tectonics of the Aegean and surrounding regions. I learned a lot working with him, and I express my sincere thanks for his support and guidance during the preparation of my doctoral thesis.

    In 1984 I published my first paper about Greek tsunamis, co-authored by my student B. Chalkis. It was then that I realized that the seismic and tsunami history in Crete and more generally along the HA-T was extremely rich, and that a book focusing only on the inter-mediate-depth earthquakes certainly would underestimate the importance of the seismic history of the area. In 1988 I joined the efforts of Prof. Stefano Tinti, University of Bolo-gna, to promote tsunami science in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Since that time I have been able to participate in several EU-funded research projects he co-ordinated (e.g. GITEC, GITEC-TWO, TRANSFER) and collaborated closely with him. Most of the material I present here regarding tsunamis comes from the contributions of my research team to those projects. I warmly thank Stefano not only because I learned a lot from him but also because of his constant support and enthusiasm to study tsunami phenomena particu-larly in the Mediterranean Sea.

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    In 1991, along with Dr Andrej Kijko of the University of Warsaw, Poland (now with the Pretoria University, South Africa), we published a joint paper about the seismic hazard assessment in Greece, including the central segment of HA-T, based on mixed instrumen-tal and historical earthquake data. I thank Andrej for that nice experience. Later on, we started working together on another paper focusing on the seismic hazard of Crete. How-ever, that paper never concluded and, therefore, was never published. This is entirely my responsibility and was due to other scientific commitments I had made. I hope that having drastically revised the historical earthquake catalogue of Crete with this book will prove to be a motivation to finish what we started about 20 years ago.

    In addition, I have learned a lot both from the several published papers on the seismic haz-ards of Crete and from the many long discussions I had particularly with Theodoros Tsapa-nos, Prof. of Seismology, University of Thessaloniki, and author of some of those papers. The last few years I have been inspired by new ideas in the field of statistical seismology in collaborating with the good friends Dr I. Latousakis and Dr I. Baskoutas, seismologists with the Institute of Geodynamics, National Observatory of Athens (NOAGI). I am thankful also to Dr D. Papanastassiou, NOAGI, not only for his constant friendship but also because prodived a compilation of macroseismic data on which the production of the empirical relationships listed in Appendix I was based. Long, useful discussions with Dr M. Sachpazi, NOAGI, about the geodynamics of the Hellenic Arc are much appreciated.

    Since the mid 1990s, field surveys for the investigation of geological evidence for pal-aeoearthquakes and palaeotsunamis on Crete and Thera islands and in other coastal test sites of the Eastern Mediterranean region were jointly organised along with Prof. Fumi-hiko Imamura and Prof. Koji Minoura, both with the Tohoku University of Sendai, Japan, and their associates; Prof. Ahmet Yaliner, Technical University of Ankara, Turkey, and his associates; and Prof. Alastair Dawson and Dr Dale Dominey-Howes, University of Coventry, UK (Dale now being with the University of New South Wales, Australia).

    In recent years, working together with Dr Tatiana Novikova, research associate at NOAGI, along with Prof. Floyd McCoy, University of Hawaii, on the simulation of the Minoan tsu-nami as well as on the geological documentation of the tsunami has been more than just productive and pleasant.

    Several times over the last 15 years or so I was helped substantially by several people, particularly by young and enthusiast scientists, in order to locate historical documentary sources, books and scientific papers, to collect material and to perform field surveys, to or-ganise databases of earthquakes and tsunamis occurring in Greece and in the entire Med-iterranean Sea, as well as to derive new relationships between earthquake magnitude and parameters of the macroseismic field, e.g., seismic intensity, with the aim to calculate magnitudes of historical earthquakes. The list is too long to include all of them here but

  • Why Write a Book aBout earthquakes in the area of Crete?

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    which includes NOAGI research scientists Mrs Areti Plessa, MSc geologist-seismologist, Ms Anna Fokaefs, MSc geologist-seismologist, Ms Elena Daskalaki, MSc mathematician-seismologist, Mrs Katerina Orfanogiannaki, MSc mathematician-seismologist, Mr Marinos Charalampakis, MSc geologist-seismologist, as well as the NOAGI research associates Mr Georgios Minadakis, MSc computer programmer, Ms Georgia Diakogianni, MSc geologist-seismologist, Dr Thanassis Pirentis, physicist-seismologist, Mr Spyros Liakopoulos, MSc ge-ologist-seismologist, Mr Fanis Chalaris, physicist-seismologist, Mrs Ntina Roussopoulou, MSc geophysicist, Mr Markos Megalokonomos, geologist, Ms Andromachi Vassilopoulou, archaeologist-historian and Mrs Nikoletta Giraleas, MSc geologist. Post-doc visiting scien-tists Dr Stella Kortekaas and Dr Boris Di Fiore helped me in the translation of German and Italian earthquake texts, respectively. I thank both of them warmly.

    Promising results about the earthquake and tsunami phenomena in western Crete started to come out from the research activities undertaken in the frame of the national research project (=REINFORCEMENT) (2006-2008) which I co-ordinated with the financial support of the General Secretary of Research and Technology, Greece. One of the project objectives was to investigate further palaeoearthquake and palaeotsunami evidence in the archaeological field of Phalasarna, NW Crete. Prof. S. Mertikas, Technical University of Crete, was responsible for further development of the GPS network of the area. Working with him and his associates was of significant benefit for understanding better the geodynamics of the Crete area. Dr Elpida Hatzidaki, responsible archaeologist for the archaeological site of Phalasarna and excavator there for more than 23 years, helped a lot with valuable discussions and suggestions and with organizing joint digging which is still ongoing and very promising.

    Dr Vassilis Karastathis, Research Director of applied geophysics at NOAGI, was the head of the seismic prospecting performed in Phalasarna. I thank Vassilis very warmly not only for the excellent work he did but also for his constant friendship and spirit of collaboration. Mr Dimitris Diamantakis, mining engineer, was the head of the team that performed drilling campaigns in Phalasarna. I thank him for his collaboration. Interpretations of the stratigraphy cores with the purpose to investigate palaeotsunami evidence in Phalasarna has been undertaken in collaboration with Prof. Ioannis Koukouvelas, University of Patras. Working with Ioannis was both productive and pleasant and I thank him very much. Discussions with Dr Nikos Fasoulas, Museum of Natural History of Crete, were of special value for understanding better local tectonics in Phalasarna and for the interpretation of the drilling samples. Long discussions with Prof. F. Vallianatos, Technical Educational Institute of Chania, were much helpful. I thank him for this but also for organizing together a seminar for young scientists in Chania on September 2008 as a parallel activity of the 31st General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission.

    The long-lasting research collaboration, publishing together and friendship with Prof. Spyros Pavlides, University of Thessaloniki, has been of great benefit for me particularly as regards our joint studies, such as those on the Aegean seismotectonics and on the 9 July 1956 tsunamigenic South Aegean earthquake, and that on the 2004 Indian Ocean large tsunami. Long discussions I had with him in many occasions were valuable to me as well. I

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    thank Spyros very warmly. Equally warm thanks are directed to Prof. Despina Kontopoulou, geophysicist with the University of Thessaloniki, for joint research collaboration and publishing together on the Aegean seismotectonics and for her constant friendship for many years.

    Prof. May Chehab, with the University of Cyprus, helped me a lot in locating literature but also in editing the book. For this, as well as for her constant, long-lasting support and friendship I express my sincere thanks. Thanks are also directed to Father Chrysostomos Trochalakis, Crete, not only for his interest about the protection of coastal zones of Crete against tsunami hazards but also because he brought to my attention relevant information coming from local sources. His constant support is much appreciated. I would like to thank Mrs Zacharenia Smyrniotaki, Director of the Historical Archive of Crete in Chania, for her support in my investigation of earthquake-related archival material. I owe a great dept to Anna-Elisa Papadopoulos, New York, who contributed substantially with the editorial improvement of the manuscript, as well as to Mrs Lena Pantopoulou with Ocelotos Publications, Athens, who spent uncountable hours to design the book, to correct the manuscript, to organize the page setting and supervise the edition.

    September 2008 was the time initially planned for the circulation of this book. However, the unexpected discovery of the Vlastos unpublished seismological manuscript in the Historical Archive of Crete on spring 2008 caused the first postponement of the books publication. The second postponement was caused by the mid of 2009 due to the serious illness of my beloved wife Smaroula who unfortunately passed away too early by the end of February 2010. Smaroula was not only my wife in the last 30 years but also an enthusiast and constant supporter of my scientific activities in parallel to her professional career and the so many duties with the Ministry of Culture, Athens. I dedicate this book to her undying memory as a least recognition to what I owe to Smaroula.

    Gerassimos A. PapadopoulosAthens, September 2011

  • 17

    Chapter 1

    Geodynamics, Seismotectonic Setting and Seismicity

    Geology

    From geological point of view the area of Crete belongs to the external Hellenides which cover a large part of western Greece (Aubouin et al., 1970). The tectonic activity in the ex-ternal Hellenides started in Tertiary and caused orogenesis typical for collision associated with subduction processes (Dewey et al., 1973, Smith, 1976). In more recent geological times tectonic uplift with specially high rates in the western part of Crete has been de-scribed to have occurred since Late Miocene up to the present (Meulenkamp et al., 1994, Lambeck, 1995). Normal and reverse faults are the most characteristic tectonic features, affecting the entire pile of tectonic units of the alpine orogenic belt (Armijo et al., 1992, Fassoulas, 1999 and references therein; Chatzaras et al. 2006, 2010, Chatzaras, 2010). The complex pattern of Neogene-Quaternary Basins on the island is attributed primarily to that system of normal faults (ten Veen and Kleinspehn, 2003 and references therein; Kok-kalas et al. 2006).

    Delibasis et al. (1981/1982) distinguished the main tectonic features of Crete; keeping the authors terminology, from west to east they are as follows. The offshore morphology in-dicates that the west main fault zone consists of graduated normal faults with an almost western inclination. The western Crete fault zone includes all the normal faults of the area

    Figure 1. Relief map of Crete (published with the permission of Mr. N. Gouvoussis).

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    From the review of the earthquake and its impact in Egypt (Ambraseys et al., 1994), we re-solved that in the Nile Delta the shock was of a two-minute duration. In Alexandria, a few old walls tumbled down; nothing substantive, but people were thrown into a panic. Some older houses along Ras al-tin were damaged but injury claimed only two lives. In Tanta and Damanhur, several minarets fell, killing some. Elsewhere in the Delta people found it difficult to stand or walk, with the ground movements causing furniture to move and wa-ter to slosh out of tanks.

    In Cairo it was more serious. Three successive shocks were felt, lasting one-, one-half and two-minute spells. Clocks in the railway and in all the hotels stopped; water from canals overflowed the embankments and well-water brimmed at the surface. Only about 20 houses crumbled, killing four people; roughly 200 more were in shambles, but many lo-cal abodes were structurally damaged. Two mosques creviced from top to bottom while one minaret fractured, and the foundation of the building was badly cracked. The Catholic Church was also damaged. In the district of Bulaq, about 20 mosques were left with deep clefts due to the loss of their minarets. One forfeited its top at the cost of four lives. Panic was great throughout Cairo and a large proportion of the populace camped in open spac-es for a day or two. The earthquake had no effect on major engineering works.

    Of great interest are the long-distance effects of the earthquake as were reported in Mal-ta, some 1,000 km from the earthquake source. A rather obscure newspaper article in The New York Times (8 November 1856) outlines the main points:

    On Sunday, the 25th of October, at eleven minutes before 2 oclock a.m., the islands of Malta and Gozo were visited by shocks of an earthquake, so violent in their nature, and so long in their duration, that the oldest inhabitants do not remember ever to have experienced any thing so severe. The first shock made itself perceptible by a tremulous motion similar to that caused by the passing of a heavy gun carriage a thousand times repeated, accompanied by a rum-bling noise, of distant thunder, which rapidly increased in violence until every building trembled. Scarcely a minute had elapsed when a more violent shock, accompanied by a louder noise, occurred. The alarm occasioned was general throughout town and country. Men, women, and children, suddenly aroused from their sluphers, issued from every house, rushing into the streetsThe two shocks, the interval being so brief as to be incalculable, lasted two minutes. In the city of Valetta scarcely a building escaped injury, and all corner structures have more particularly suffered. Of the Roman Catholic churches these of San Giacomo, St Orsolo, and St Domenico appear to have suffered most. At Flori-ann and in each of the three cities, as well as in the harbor, the shocks were felt with considerable vigor, and at Sengles, Cospicua, and Vittorioso, many of the buildings are injured. Persons on board ships in the port describe the effects of the earthquake, as felt by them, as of letting go the ships-boats from the davits

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    by the run, only much stronger. The sea receded two feet and a half. The night had been without a breath of air, with a sultry sensation, the sea perfectly calm, and the moon shining in a clear sky... At Civita Vecchie, in the interior of the island, all the churches, monasteries, [illegible], and hospitals (the church of St Augustine excepted) sustained greater or less damageIn Malta, it is usual to ring the bells of the churcheson occasion of imminent danger, and on Sunday, soon after the shocks had coased, a burst of tintinabulary sounds was everywhere to be heard. On the same day a Te Deum or thanksgiving was chanted in all the churchesfew went to their beds on the following night until after the clock had struck two, remaining until then from sunset on the squares, bastions, and parade grounds, grain fosse at Floriana, Marina, and other places more secure than under roof. Sentries report a great red glare in the heavens to have pre-ceded the outbreak, and all the market dogs joined chorus in a yell and howl for an hour or two previous.

    Figure 61. Headlines of the report of New York Times from Malta about the very large, intermediate-depth earthquake of 12 October 1856.

    The articles mistaken date of the earthquake (25 October) a priori was consequent to an accidental addition of twelve days to the New Style date of 12/13 October 1856.

    Further investigation continues to reveal consequences observed on Malta and Gozo is-lands as well as the islet of Filfl a, on the southern coast of Malta. In an article by Weight (1863/2008, p. 439), recounting a visit to the islet of Filfl a,

    On the side facing Malta, a large portion of the island fell away during the great earthquake that devastated Candia in 1856, which was severely felt all over Malta and Gozo. It is said that, ever since this landslip, a great diminu-

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    tion in the number of Pigeons breeding on the rock has been observed. The noise made in its descent into the sea, I am assured, was distinctly heard on the op-posite coast of Malta.

    In a report uploaded to the website www.timesofmalta.com (10 July 2008), about the pro-tection of monuments in Valletta, there is special mention of Ponsombys column. This monument, dedicated to Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsomby who was governor of Malta between 1827 and 1836, was erected in 1838 on St Andrews Bastion close to Triq il-Mith-na by the side of Hastings Garden. It consisted of a Doric column 21 meters high topped by a stone funerary urn inscribed: The monument was damaged by an earthquake in 1856, likely the Cretan earthquake. Another report, which appeared in the edition Heritage Mal-ta Update (2006/2007), refers to The Old Parish Church of Santa Marija in Birkikara:

    Located in an area prone to rain water flooding and standing on unstable ground, the church has inevitably been subject to the effects of these natural causes. There is also documented evidence that the walls were always unstable and part of the roof and the weakened dome came down during an earthquake in 1856, long after the church and parish of St Helen had been built

    A brief but interesting review of the long-term impressions left by the 12 October 1856 Cretan earthquake in Malta can be found in the article by Woo (1995). Of particular interest is the paper of Galea (2007) who reviewed the earthquake effects in Malta based on reports of the local newspapers, particularly of Il Portafoglio Maltese, L Ordine and The Malta Mail, as follows:

    _________________________________________________It is clearly reported that the earthquake woke up inhabitants all over the islands, and caused them to rush out of their houses during the night. Inhabitants inside houses lost their balance. The tremor was accompanied by a loud rumbling, and overturned objects and moved furniture. The duration of the shaking was variably reported to have lasted between 22 s and 60 s. Almost all houses in Valletta, and many houses in other villages and in Gozo suffered serious cracks to their walls, and the damage was more noticeable on the upper floors. Many churches on both island suffered damage to their domes and walls, or detached crosses and other fixtures. The dome and sides of St. Georges church in Victoria, Gozo, were left wide open with detached blocks of stone. Parts of the dome of the Cathedral in Mdina collapsed into the interior. The damage to this Cathedral was estimated at over 1000. The steeple of the Carmelite Church in Mdina was so damaged that it had to be rebuilt. The side of a chapel on a hill near Siggiewi collapsed. In Gozo, a signal tower collapsed, and even newly built houses suffered damage. There are also references to the collapse of a chapel on

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    Filfla Island (a minor island off the southern coast of Malta), and that of a coastal tower at Mellieha. The earthquake was also felt in Southeastern Sicily and caused damage to churches in Pozzallo, and some slight damage in Syracuse (Malta Mail, 18/10/1856). The effects of this earthquake on people, objects and buildings are documented well enough for a good intensity estimate to be made. Considering that many buildings appeared to have suffered damage of Grade 3, the earthquake has been assigned an intensity of VII.

    _____________________________________________________________

    Social and cultural impact: The catastrophic quake of 1856 also had tremendous influ-ence on the architectural and cultural life of Crete. As a matter of fact, post-seism the urban planning and architectural style of buildings in Heraklion changed drastically: the Venetian style was rapidly replaced by a typical Turkish-Balkan style (Tzompanaki, 2000, p. 58). For example, in 1883 the old Venetian barracks ruined by the quake were replaced by new Turkish barracks (Tzompanaki, 2000, p. 92). The Gate Voltone was also destroyed by the 1856 earthquake (Chaniotaki Starida, 2000). A local rich Greek nobleman, Andreas Kalokairinos, afforded aid to many of his neighbors (Spanakis, 1960). He also tried to con-vince the local administrator Veli Pasha to proceed with a new urban plan for Heraklion based on plans elaborated by the British architect Lioner. The plan, however, was halted when the Muslim population reacted. Mourellos (1934) noted that in addition to the fear borne of the unstable geology, another undesirable aspect in the lives of the local people was the presence of the disreputable local administrator Veli Pasha. On the other hand, Raulin (1869, p. 198 and 201) utilising an anonymous brochure for support, states that Veli Pasha created two hospitals after the 1856 earthquake, one in Heraklion and another one in Chania.

    Reflective in folk songs engendered in its aftermath is the prodigy of the earthquake on the socio-cultural lives of Cretes citizens. One entitled The earthquake of 1856, published by Kriaris (1920, p.131), lyricised its eponymous topic:

    1856

    (1)

    , , . , (2)

    , . ,

    , , , ,

  • ChaPter 8

    252

    , , (3)

    .

    - , , , (4) , (5) ,

    (6) , .

    Six of Kriaris (1920, p.131) footnotes were used to explain certain Cretan idioms. This folk song crudely translates as follows:

    The earthquake of 1856

    On 1856, the Lord wished to send his miracle; on 29 September, Saturday evening, a large earthquake occurred and the entire world boils. It comes from the area of Chania like meltemi [strong summer wind flowing from the north], big and terrible earthquake, the entire world shakes. The sea is immovable, but in the land eight winds [flow]. The earth cries, smoke comes out from beneath. Lands and villages are getting lost like in the fall of a star. But no one suffered like the Great Castle [Heraklion]; its monasteries and minarets destroyed. And all Christians in one voice entreat Virgin Mary to intervene. Oh! Virgin Mary, we all are children of you, please submit your supplication, your supplication really counts. Holly fire fell in the Castles square, sailors saw that from the side of the port.

    A remarkable digression is that, with the collapse of the Green Prison, situated in the courtyard of the Pasha Gate administrative building, the guard fled and the heroic rebel Michael Vlachos was able to escape, along with several other rebel prisoners (Stavrinidis, 1980). Michael Vlachos was publicly beheaded by the Turks on 16 February 1857.

    Associated Phenomena: Barbiani and Barbiani (1864) reprinted press information that in Kissamos, west of Chania in Crete, ground subsidence generated a lake bearing a sulfur smell. Schmidt (1879), however, keeping in mind that newspapers often exagger-ate, criticised as follows:

    As expected, also the myth of the sinking of villages could not confirmed, like in Crete, where Kissamos would have disappeared.

    On the other hand, the account of kadi fi Nr (Kellner-Heinkele, 1999) tacitly shows a coastal zone having submerged there:

  • index of GeoGraPhy

    415

    Mark Genadius 128McCoy Floyd 14Megalokonomos Markos 15Metellus Creticus 54Minadakis Georgios 15Minoura Koji 14Mitilinaios Christoforos 162Morzinos Ioannis 161Mpertos-Kyriazopoulos 246Mpoulakas Pan. 328Mustafa Pasha 233, 238Nero 82, 83, 84, 86, 87Nicolo Venier 119Nikolaidou Philadelfeos 79Novikova Tatiana 14Oikoumenios Asklepiodotos

    Dositheos 98Orfanogiannaki Katerina 15Orion 81Otus 81Pachymeris 32, 121, 124Pantalakis 201Pantalogiannis 201Pantogalos 169Pantopoulou Lena 16Paolo Guerini 143Papadopoulos Anna-Elisa 16Papanastassiou D. 14Pavlides Spyros 15Pausanias 32, 79, 98Pavlakis 206, 384Petrus Justiniani 116Pierro Matchello 143Pietro Casola 134Pirentis Thanassis 15Platon 65, 66, 385Plessa Areti 15 Plinius 79, 80, 81Pliny 32, 81, 85Plousiadinos Ioannis 139Porro 134Poseidon 78, 92, 121Praktikidis Konstantinos 33Praktikidis Zacharias 33Procopius 95Rayleigh 370

    Ritter M. 256, 257Rochfort Scott C. 214Roussopoulou Ntina 15Roussos Andreas 173Sachpazi M. 14Scrope P. 259Sklavos Manolis 115Skliros Athanassios 178Smyrniotaki Zacharenia 16Sinesius 99Sir Arthur Evans 64, 66, 69, 345 Frederick Ponsomby 250Smaroula 5, 16Socrates Scholasticus 32, 94Solinus 81Sozomen 32, 95Spyridos 192St Elessa 98Stichlits 227Strabo 32, 79Sultan Abdlmecds 241Tarikh 124Telesinus 87Theodosius II 107, 108Theodoulos 99Theophanes 32, 96, 111, 112Th v. Heldreich 228Tinti Stefano 13, 14Tomadakis N. 33, 196Trichalis Georgios 201Trochalakis Chrysostomos 16Tsapanos Theodoros 14Tycho Brahe 160Valens 93, 95, 96, 99Valentinian 92, 95, 99Validi Sultan 241Vallianatos F. 15Varypatis-Chryseas 247, 374Vassilopoulou Andromachi 15Veli Pasha 241, 251Vernardos M. 196Vivilakis Emm. 197, 203, 205,

    212, 221, 225, 226, 229, 230, 239, 262

    Vlachos Michael 252

    Vlastos Pavlos 9, 39, 40Xanthoudidis Stefanos 65Yaliner Ahmet 14Yieneralis Emm. 212Zacaria Corner 140Zachariadis Ioannis 233Z. Corner 139Zibaldone da Canal 122Zoulfikar Pasha 192 232 226 239 . 204 81 . . 288 . 197, 203, 205,

    212, 221, 225, 226, 229, 230, 261

    129 162 82 . 292 232 226. 237 107 129 83 83 239 212 . . 212 138 232 . 327 . 201 201 206 79 91 230 192 226 . 201 . 208

  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis: 2000 BC 2011 AD

    The Hellenic Arc and Trench

    GerasSimos A. PapadopoulosGera

    sSim

    os A

    . Pap

    ado

    pou

    los

    A Seismic History

    of Crete

    A S

    eis

    mic

    H

    isto

    ryo

    f C

    re

    te

    National Observatory of Athens

    OCELOTOS PUBLICATIONS

    The author g r a d u a t e d (1975) and got PhD de-gree (1982) in solid Earth geophysics

    from the University of Thessalo-niki. He was post-doc researcher at MIT (Boston, USA, 1984) and in Japan as Visiting Researcher at NIED, Tsukuba (1993), and Vis-iting Professor at the Tohoku Uni-versity (2004). He served at the Earthquake Planning & Protec-tion Organization (Athens, 1985-1994) and is with the Institute of Geodynamics, National Obser-vatory of Athens, since 1995; Re-search Director since 2002.

    Main elds of interest are seis-micity, earthquake prediction and tsunami science. He has published more than 100 re-viewed scienti c papers and many others, including three books, getting more than 1,000 citations. He has served in orga-nizations and commissions es-tablished by the Greek and Ital-ian Governments, the Council of Europe, the European Seis-mological Commission, the In-ternational Natural Hazards So-ciety, the UNESCO, the Interna-tional Union of Geodesy & Geo-physics and the American Geo-physical Union. Editor-in-Chief of the peer reviewed journal Re-search in Geophysics, Guest Edi-tor in the journals Natural Haz-ards and J. of Geodynamics.

    Awarded the Nekashizuka Award (1993) for his tsunami studies, a Special Prize of the Academy of Athens (2002, shared with S. Pavlides and A. Ganas) for their studies on the 1999 Athens earthquake, and the Rammal Award of EuroScience (2004) for promoting scienti c collabora-tion in the Mediterranean re-gion in the eld of seismology.

    In this book the geodynamics and seismicity of the Hellenic Arc and Trench in the area of Crete are re-viewed. Starting from the Minoan era of about 2000 BC, 190 earth-quake events occurring in the pre-historical, the historical and the primitive instrumental period up to 1913, are critically examined with the support of eld geologi-cal and archaeological observa-tions and of documentary sources in original language and in English translation. A considerable number of those events were unknown in the seismological literature so far. Earthquake focal parameters are evaluated and reliability scales are introduced. Associated phenome-na, such as volcanic eruptions, tsu-namis, seaquakes, liquefaction in soil, rockfalls and landslides, earth-quake precursors and the similar are also described. Cultural items, such as folk songs, poems etc., as well as pictorial material, when related to the earthquake activity, are also inserted along with the rest docu-mentary material. Another set of 29 only strong earthquake events oc-curring in the early and the modern instrumental era of seismology up to 2011 inclusive are also examined with the support of instrumental records and macroseismic observa-tions. Associated phenomena are again described.

    e-mail address: papadop@noa.gr

    T he seismicity in Greece and in the adjacent regions is the highest in the Western Eurasia. One of the most active seismotectonic structures in that region is the Hellenic Arc and Trench (H-AT) system. The island of Crete occupies the central segment of H-AT just to the north of the front where the lithospheric plates of Africa and Eurasia converge and the former bends and subducts beneath the later. Therefore, the shallow and intermediate-depth seismicity in the area of Crete is very high. In addition, these processes produce other important geodynamic phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions along the South Aegean Sea island arc as well as tsunamis.

    In Crete civilization was developed long ago, and because of this the earthquake record goes also very back in the past. The rich seismic history of Crete was documented so far in historical sources and instrumental records. However, historical documentation is not complete and several earthquake events escaped historical record and remained unknown. In addition, some strong events of the instrumental era of seismicity are not well-studied. Therefore, there is need to review and complete further the historical seismicity of Crete. This is the first objective for writing this book.

    It is worth noting that new knowledge about historical earthquakes and tsunamis in the area of Crete was accumulated from geological and archaeological observations. In addition, analytical laboratory results, e.g. for dating purposes, and numerical modeling of tsunami waves yield new insight in the study of earthquakes and tsunamis. However, such new knowledge has not been integrated so far into a unified methodological approach as a supplement to historical and instrumental documentation. This is exactly the second objective for writing this book.

    The third reason that justifies writing this book is that three very important key-events have taken place exactly in the area of Crete: The LBA (17th century BC) or Minoan giant eruption of Thera volcano and its associated large tsunami, as well as the big tsunamigenic earthquakes of AD 365 and 1303. The repeat of such extreme events in the future would have dramatic consequences for the communities in a large part of the Mediterranean basin. Therefore, their study by all available means is a scientific challenge of high-priority.

    Why write a book about the earthquakesin the area of Crete?

    Vatatzi 55 str., 114 73 Athens TEL. : +30 210 6431108E-MAIL: ekdoseis.ocelotos@gmail.comwww. ocelotos. gr

    P U B L I C AT I O N Socelotos

    P U B L I C AT I O N Socelotos

    ISBN 978-960-9499-68-2

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