Spare a thought for the folks of Kefalonia, an island with a special place in the hearts of many here, which suffered a major 6.1 earthquake yesterday. Seven people were injured, most buildings in the satellite town of Lixouri, near the capital of Argostoli, sustained minor damage, and the quake was felt as far away as Athens. As aftershocks continued, some islanders chose to sleep in their cars overnight. The Uni of Athens Seismicity Survey reports dozens of lesser earthquakes in the region over the past 48 hours, and while authorities say the main quake happened yesterday afternoon, others say it will be 48 hours before they are sure this wasn’t the build up to a stronger quake. The website Earthquake-Report.com has a timeline and footage shot in a sports facility as the quake happened.
Kefalonia and its neighbouring Ionian Islands of Zakynthos and Lefkas were devastated by a series of earthquakes – totalling over a hundred – in August 1953. The weekend’s quakes were unrelated to the fault that caused the 1953 quakes. That seismos featured in the Louis de Bèrnieres novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and the unfortunate movie version. More interesting to history buffs, however, is Yuri Averof’s rivetting 2003 documentary, Seismos, which recorded the equally seismic changes in Kefalonian society after the quake.
Our man with the bookmark for the Athens Uni real-time seismicity interactive map reports that the Northern Sporades have been largely placid since a Richter fiver four years ago.