State of Emergency Declared on Greek Island Cephalonia After 5.8 Magnitude Quake

By @ibtimesau on

Greece has declared a state of emergency over the Greek island of Cephalonia (Kefalonia), following Sunday's 5.8-magnitude quake which injured seven people.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the 5.8 magnitude quake struck at 3:55 pm with its epicenter located six kilometres or four miles northeast of Argostoli town, the capital of Cephalonia (Kefalonia).

Although no major damages occurred, the strong quake scared the island's residents.

"There are damages, but fortunately the island made it through this test and there are no casualties. There are only seven people lightly injured from falling objects," Yannis Michelakis, interior minister, said after a meeting with local authorities.

As of Monday, dozens of aftershocks continued to rattle Cephalonia (Kefalonia). Recalling the devastating 1953 quake, residents were already prepared to spend their second night in their cars or town squares.

In August 1953, a series of four earthquakes struck the island and caused massive destruction. Every house on the island got destroyed. But the most terrifying was the third quake, which was also the most destructive. Taking place on Aug 12, 1953, at 09:24 UTC (11:24 local time), a 7.3 magnitude temblor struck just directly below the southern tip of Cephalonia. It elevated the entire island to 60 centimetres (24 in) higher.

Although there wasn't much fatalities, about 100,000 of the island's 125,000 population immediately left the island, following that gigantic temblor 60 years ago.

"We need 48 hours to say with 99 percent certainty that this was the main quake," Thanassis Ganas, head of research at the Athens Geodynamic Institute, said on Skai television on Monday morning.

A total of 100,000 euro ($136,500) will be set aside by the state for the victims of the 5.8-magnitude quake.

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