Kefalonia rocked by biggest earthquake so far this week

Tremor measured at 5.7 and 6.0 magnitude hits at 5.08am

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Ten people have sustained light injuries, mostly from falling objects, according to the director of Lixouri hospital, Dionysis Markatos

Damage from last week's earthquake (Photo: ANA) Damage from last week's earthquake (Photo: ANA) Kefalonia has been hit by another major earthquake, which has been measured at between 5.7 and 6.0 on the Richter scale, the latest in a week-long series of tremors that have rocked the Ionian island.

Ten people have sustained light injuries, mostly from falling objects, according to Dionysis Markatos, the director of Lixouri hospital on the island.

Monday morning's quake occurred at 5.08am. According to the Institute of Geodynamics in Athens, the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.7 with its epicentre located 12km to the northwest of the island's capital, Argostoli, which corresponds to the same area near Lixouri that was the focal point of last Sunday's quake, which measured 5.8 on the Richter scale.

"We're talking about the same seismic area. In fact, the centre of today's earthquake is just to the northwest of last Sunday's quake, 12km from Argostoli, near the shoreline," said institute director Dimitra Saplatzi.

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She said further earthquakes can be expected in the coming days, of the same magnitude and in the same area. While studies are ongoing, she added that she could not exclude the possibility of a tremor similar in magnitude of the devastating 7.2 earthquake the island experienced in 1953.

Monday's quake was measured at 6.0 by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, which usually records higher values than the Athens institute.

Initial reports say that there have been landslides on the between Argostoli and Lixouri, already damaged from last week's quakes.

Homes have also suffered damage. One resident in the village of Chavriata, outside Lixouri, told EnetEnglish that Monday's quake was the strongest yet this week. She said everything in her house had been thrown to the ground and that a crack had appeared in a wall of the building, which was constructed in the 1980s. 

Closed for the past week, the island's schools will remain shut at least until Wednesday, pending the completion of structural inspections.

The 6th disaster response unit (Emak) has been dispatched from Patras to the island, as has a firefighting team with rescue dogs. 

The defence ministry has also activated its Defkalion project for natural disasters, sending a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with personnel, including three doctors, as well as bulldozers and tents.

In addition, the tank-landing craft Ikaria will bring bulldozers, a truck, a generator, and a light tower, a field canteen, and a water tanker.

The chief of army general staff, General Michail Kostarakos, is flying to the island to coordinate the military response. He is being accompanbied by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the head of the Orthodox Church in Greece. 

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