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Aftershock of 4.6 hits Kefalonia in early hours

Many residents unable to return to their homes for second night

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Quake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale struck at 5.12am, with its epicentre 9km west of Lixouri, the island's second largest town, and at a depth of only 2km

A tremor measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Ionian island of Kefalonia in the early hours of Tuesday morning, in one of the strongest aftershock following Sunday's 5.8 earthquake.

The quake on Tuesday morning struck at 5.12am. Its epicentre was 9km west of Lixouri, the island's second largest town, at a depth of only 2km.

The island has been rocked by dozens of aftershocks since Sunday, forcing many islanders to spend a second night outside of their homes. About a 1,000 people took refuge in a ferry boat that came to the island for that purpose, while others slept in their cars.

Another ferry, with a capacity to sleep 1,300 people, is expected to arrive on Tuesday.

A state of emergency has been declared on the island and schools and other public buildings will remain closed pending inspections by engineers.


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On Monday, inspections carried out on 70 homes, found 40 to be unsafe, while of the 21 public buildings inspected, four were deemed unsafe and four had problems.

After it was declared unsafe on Monday, residents of Lixouri old people's home were forced to spend the night in a small chapel before they were transferred to an area within an indoor gym.

The road linking Lixouri with Argostoli, the island's capital, is also closed.

The red dots indicted earthquake sites (Screengrab from a European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre map) The red dots indicted earthquake sites (Screengrab from a European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre map) On Monday, the labour and finance ministry suspended tax and social insurance payments for residents on Kefalonia and nearby Ithaki for three months, while the labour and interior ministers have sent €100,000 to each island to cover emergency needs.

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