Home I have heard about the big earthquake in 1953 destroying villages … are the buildings safe now?

I have heard about the big earthquake in 1953 destroying villages … are the buildings safe now?

by Sarah O

Have you ever wondered why Kefalonia has so many modern buildings? Well, Greece is amongst the most earthquake prone countries in Europe, and since Kefalonia lies just to the east of a major tectonic fault (European and Aegean plates) it experiences many of them.

Any visitor to our beautiful island has no doubt heard about the devastating earthquake that rocked Kefalonia in 1953. The majority of the island suffered irreparable damage to its buildings, and whole areas were destroyed effecting home and work life. For example the sea mills at Katovothres became redundant as the ground was raised by approximately 60cm at the southern tip of the island.

The phrase “pre-earthquake” is frequently used to describe areas that retain the Venetian style traditional stone buildings, such as the village of Fiskardo. You can also see many ghosts of pre-earthquake architecture around the island – in some areas substantial remains exist giving the visitor a glimpse into the past.

Earthquakes occur frequently on the island but most are over before you’ve even noticed them. There have been several notable earthquakes since 1953 but because of strict regulations on buildings the damaged caused by them has had less impact and with no serious injuries reported.

You can be assured that all modern building work carried out is legally bound to adhere to strict guidelines to withstand major seismic activity – all buildings must have concrete foundations and be reinforced with steelwork in their structures.

It is indeed impossible to predict earthquakes but planning for them is key. As all new buildings have these strict regulations you can be sure that you are in safe hands on the island.

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