Greece: recovery and rebuilding in quake-hit Kefalonia

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Greece: recovery and rebuilding in quake-hit Kefalonia

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The Greek island of Kefalonia is recovering from a series of earthquakes.

The first, on January 26, registered 6.0 on the Richter scale. A second major quake, a little less powerful, hit a week later.

There have also been hundreds of aftershocks. Euronews reporter, Michalis Arampatzoglu, experienced one when visiting bakery owner Giorgos Malioris.

“We’re in psychological shock. You’ve felt yourselves the quake that just happened,” Malioris told Arampatzoglu.

There is relief that the quakes did not claim any lives but residents, such as Christos Kiriakatos, have seen their homes destroyed.

“At the first earthquake the house took an inclination of 3 degrees to the left. At the second earthquake the house took the inclination that you see, which is 45 degrees. Luckily, I was not inside because I would be dead now,” Kiriakatos explained.

Around 1,400 houses have been declared uninhabitable, leaving hundreds of families homeless.

Mema Sinodinou has been living with her baby in a tent at a camp set up by the army at the Lyxouri stadium. “I don’t know if I can dream anymore. I’m mostly worried about her [her seven-month old daughter]”.

The Lyxouri museum has been converted into a distribution centre of food and water.

Euronews’ Michalis Arampatzoglu explains: “The state, the church, private companies and residents have been sending supplies – which teams of volunteers have been helping to distribute.”

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and a popular tourist destination.

Much of its infrastructure has remained intact – and residents told euronews that the island would be ready for the summer holiday season.

Tourism is the highest-earning industry for the crisis-hit Greek economy, which is in its sixth year of recession.