A Cruising Association member reveals the extent of the damage

Yachts

toppled and a quay was destroyed during a series of earthquakes, which have

caused devastation in Kefalonia, Greece.

A

strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the

western Greek island before dawn Monday, sending scared residents

into the streets.

It came just a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings,

reviving memories of a disaster in the 1950s.

A

Cruising Association (CA) member who has been in touch with contacts on

Kefalonia said: ‘Several earthquakes have occurred over a week just west of

Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia.

‘The

first, on 26 January caused some minor damage in the town. A week later a

further earthquakes reaching 6.1 on the Richter scale caused more damage.

‘A

quay at Lixouri, a harbour 5km northwest of Argostoli has been ruined, and several

yachts stored ashore have been toppled. There has been disruption to some

services and the area is prepared for the possibility of further quakes.

‘Kefalonia,

like Levkada and Zakinthos, is regularly affected by earth tremors and minor

earthquakes. A major earth crust fault lies just west of the islands, and

continuously grumbles in a small way.

‘If

it doesn’t grumble for a period, then some or other part of the fault will make

a larger adjustment.’

A worrying trend

The

CA member added: ‘Levkada suffered a 6.4 richter event in 2003, which caused

injuries and minor damage.


‘The

last major quake in 1953 devastated Kefalonia and Zakinthos, and affected parts

of Levkada. Kefalonia was pushed upwards by about half a metre, and all

buildings except those in the extreme north corner were flattened.

‘Major

emigration from both islands followed. Memories of the event remain, and the

islands are prepared for further quakes. After the 1953 event, earthquake

resistant structures (ugly, many would say) slowly replaced old structures, so

a similar magnitude quake should cause much less loss of life.

‘Fiskardo,

a very popular port of call for yachtsmen, is the only town on Kefalonia which

escaped damage in 1953.

‘Here’s

hoping its lovely architecture survives this current onslaught.’ 

Picture credit:

AP

Photo/Nikiforos Stamenis