Barrage of powerful aftershocks worry residents of Kefalonia

Island residents seek refuge on board ferry boats as aftershocks continue and weather deteriorates

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Barrage of powerful aftershocks worry residents of Kefalonia

Although the Sunday afternoon earthquake that struck Kefalonia did not result in any fatal injuries, it has caused serious damages to the property and infrastructure. Meanwhile, the seismic aftershocks continue to worry local residents, with the latest aftershock measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale and occurring at a 2km depth, 9 km west of Lixouri.

Technical teams have been inspecting buildings all over the island and documenting the extent of damages. The teams reported that 55 of the 100 buildings inspected yesterday were damaged and the 4 of the 21 public buildings were non-habitable .The technical teams of engineers have urged homeowners to stay away from their homes until they have been inspected.

About 1,000 residents whose homes were damaged in the Sunday afternoon earthquake and ensuing aftershocks were accommodated on board the Superfast 11 ferry boat. Another ship, the El. Venizelos, is expected to arrive at Kefalonia later today and will provide temporary shelter to additional residents whose property has been damaged.

The biggest damages were caused in Lixouri, where most of the buildings affected by the Sunday earthquake were found to be unsuitable for living, including a number of school buildings. The courthouse of Argostoli, the nursing home and a few other public buildings have also been damaged. The village of Paliki was also hit hard by the earthquake, with most residents bearing huge cracks. In some cases walls and tiled roofs collapsed. Monuments and graves at the local cemetery were also damaged by the earthquake, creating a rather macabre setting.

The schools on the island will remain closed again today, as the technical teams have not yet completed their inspections of all public buildings. A decision on whether to resume teaching will be made this afternoon, when the inspections have been complete. Likewise, the exam period at the local Technological University has been suspended for a week until all damages and student needs can be assessed and addressed.

National Bank takes initiatives to support quake victims

The National Bank has announced its plans to support its clients in Kefalonia who have suffered as a result of the earthquake. Among the bank’s initiatives are a two-month extension of all bank loan deadlines, on top of the Greek Bank Union’s decision to freeze loans and interest of all loans.

Additionally the bank has committed hundreds of millions of euros for loans that will be used explicitly to cover the cost of repairs for damages caused by the earthquake. These loans, with beneficial terms, will also be made available to businesses. All interested National Bank clients can contact their local branch as of Monday, the 3rd of February.