Greece hit by tremors

Several earthquakes have occurred over a week just west of Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia in the Greek islands, the Cruising Association reports.

The first Greek earthquake, on January 26th 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. Levkada suffered a 6.4 richter event in 2003, which caused injuries and minor damage.

‘The last major Greek earthquake 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 slowly replaced old structures, so a similar magnitude quake should cause much less loss of life,’ said a CA sailor in the region.

‘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,’ he added.