State of Emergency Declared in Cephalonia (Update)

Source: Greek Institute of Geodynamics
Source: Greek Institute of Geodynamics

More than  two dozen aftershocks followed Sunday’s strong earthquake, which struck just before 4pm off the Greek island of Cephalonia. The initial quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale, hitting at a relatively shallow depth of ten kilometers, just two kilometers off the coast of Argostoli, and seven kilometers from Lixouri.  Numerous aftershocks have followed, the strongest measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale and rattling Cephalonia at 8:45 p.m. last night. 

Greek seismology professor Kostas Papazachos urged Cephalonians to not return to their homes if they have been damaged by the earthquake, as the acceleration forces experienced by structures would be close to the limit set by quake laws.

kefalonia1_473_355Cephalonia vice-mayor Evaggelos Kekatos told reporters that damage is confined to store windows as well as to the island’s older buildings. “Some areas of Kefalonia are without electricity and the Greek Power Company is already working to restore the damage,” said Kekatos, adding also that landslides have affected the island’s road system.

The Greek Minister of Interior Giannis Michelakis announced that two ships would be arriving at the island in order to serve as shelters for more than 2,000 of the island’s inhabitants who are unable to return to their homes. Michelakis further added that that public services on the island will be open for 24 hours a day.