The island of Cephalonia (also known as Kefalonia), the largest of the Ionian islands, was recently rocked by an earthquake that was nearly a 6 on the Richter magnitude scale. A few days prior to the earthquake, a fireball (or, meteorite depending on who you ask) fell between Cephalonia and neighboring Zante island lighting the shoreline of the latter as it slowly descended into the depths of the surrounding sea.
When I learned the news, I, a once-upon-a-time denizen, immediately called friends to find out what the situation was on the ground. Since the epicenter was close to Lixouri, most of the damage (to a nearby road and older buildings built before anti-seismic regulations came into force) was concentrated near said town, across the bay from Argostoli, Cephalonia’s capital city.
Cephalonians are used to earthquakes. The Focas-Cosmetatos museum featured an exhibit called “1953: The Earthquake.” The earthquake of ’53 was a devastating, natural disaster that caused a tsunami, resulted in many casualties, and brought the International Red Cross. It was an event that caused many to lose everything they had with the consequence of a mass exodus.
Luckily, the latest earthquake resulted in zero casualties with only a few, minor injuries thanks to the fact that every new construction must, by law, adhere to strict, anti-seismic building codes.
Europe will fund repairs. The buildings will be fixed and road damaged repaired. Life will go on.
Cephalonia: The Indomitable
Cephalonia was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the top ten places to live in Europe. 1 Although it has experienced its fair share of natural disasters and foreign conquests (the pirates from time immemorial; the Venetians from circa 1500; and the Axis powers during WWII), this incredibly beautiful island continues to be a highly sought after tourist destination.
Absolute musts to see: Myrtos beach, Fiskardo, Assos, Kipuria Monastery, Melissani Cave, and Mt. Aenos.
“Makis, a KTM Adventure”
1 Cephalonia is one of the top 10 places to live in Europe