NEWS

Cephalonia remains safe tourist destination, says Samaras

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday expressed the government's strong will in assisting the Ionian island of Cephalonia to return to normality following a 5.9 Richter earthquake on Sunday. Samaras arrived on the island on an unscheduled visit late Tuesday.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, the premier noted that all of the island's schools had been checked for damage with the majority expected to start operating again on Monday.

Some 400 buildings, including houses, stores and state buildings have been checked so far, noted the prime minister, who added that the overall damage recorded on the island was comparatively small given the magnitude of Sunday's quake. Hospitals and airports were functioning normally, while infrastructure problems included damage on the Lixouri-Argostoli road which remained closed on Wednesday.

The island's cultural heritage had not suffered major damage, noted Samaras, who added that a Ministry of Culture team was expected to visit the island next week.

"Cephalonia remains a beautiful and entirely safe tourist destination,» Samaras concluded.

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