After a meal of tempura prawns and garlic bread, we sat watching TV, first a silly American series that is growing on me called The Nanny, then an episode on DVD of Foyle’s War. During this we heard a rumble, like some massive blast from the quarry in the mountains opposite, but this rumble seemed to penetrate right through to the bones. Caroline got halfway out of her seat and paused, but it passed, no need to get out into the open. Really, we shouldn’t worry too much about Earthquakes here – our house has been standing for centuries so the chances are that it will stand for further centuries.
Later we found out that the quake was 4.4 on the Richter scale and southwest of Iraklion, which is basically where we are. It wasn’t really of great note, and it’s always a bastard explaining logarithmic scales to someone and that no, a quake of 5 is not half the strength of a 10. We did have a better one two years ago in the middle of June. This was located just off of Ierapetra and weighed in at just over 6 on the Richter scale.
At about 3.00AM I woke up to a terrible racket. It seemed to me that someone angry had got hold of our front door and was slamming it back and forth in an attempt to get in (the door is loose at that time of year – it shrinks about a centimetre). As I really started to wake up it felt like someone had just opened a branch of the London underground directly below our house and now a train was passing through. I could feel it as well as hear it, and seemed to be able to track its progress below. We didn’t know whether we should get outside – apparently some of our neighbours did – and by the time we were coming to a decision about that, it was all over. No real damage. A crack had opened up in a newly painted wall but, over the ensuing week, it closed up again and effectively disappeared. I guess that’s one of the benefits of having a house partially constructed of mud and sitting on zero foundations – it is somewhat elastic.