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Seismic centres near Kefalonia have become active

31 January 2014 / 14:01:17  GRReporter
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The strong earthquake of 5.8 on the Richter scale last Sunday has activated a group of seismic centres in the sea area northwest of the island. Seismologists monitor the phenomenon, claiming that the aftershock sequence is completely normal.

Five days after the major earthquake, aftershocks in Kefalonia continue. From 26 January to today, 362 shocks were registered, all of them in the same area. According to the head of Research Department in the Geodynamic Institute of Athens, however, the earthquake has activated neighbouring faults. "A group of seismic centres in the sea area around Myrtos and Assos have become active. We registered 109 earthquakes in this region from Sunday to today. The good news is that the aftershock sequence is normal and we have not established the existence of pre earthquake signs. We continue to monitor the phenomenon day and night," says Athanassios Ganas cited by Greek daily Kathimerini.

Meanwhile, life in Kefalonia is starting to return to its normal rhythm. The inspections of the stability of the houses continue. In the words of general secretary in charge of public projects Stratos Simopoulos, the engineering teams have inspected over 1,000 houses, identifying half of them as unsuitable for habitation. "One of the problems encountered is that many residents asked us to inspect their houses in the hope that they might receive a lump sum aid. Within two days, they filed 600 new requests for inspections."

The inspections themselves do not always run smoothly. On Thursday, for example, there were disagreements among the engineers related to the stability of the hospital on the island.

"The engineers from the service for infrastructure projects told us to close it in order to make repairs whereas the engineers from the service for the recovery of damage caused by earthquakes stated the hospital is not seriously affected," says mayor of Kefalonia Alexandros Parisis.

The islanders however have begun returning to their houses. "Less than 1,000 people have remained on board the ship. They have started leaving it after seeing that there have been no quakes over the past days," says the mayor. According to him, only 20 percent of the people who are on board the ship have problems with their houses.

"The majority of them are just afraid. In Kefalonia, we are used to living with earthquakes. Our houses are secure and protected from strong earthquakes. If this earthquake had happened elsewhere, there would have been victims as well."

At the same time, seismologists say the weak earthquakes that have been recorded in recent days in the western part of the Gulf of Corinth are not connected in any way with the major earthquake in Kefalonia.

The last earthquake of 3.7 on the Richter scale and a focal depth of five kilometres was registered at 02:00 am.

Tags: SocietyKefaloniaEarthquakeSeismic centresHousesStability
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