Efforts to render Cephalonia operational ahead of tourist season

Fifty-five percent of the 250 buildings checked for damage in the town of Lixouri following two strong earthquakes on the island of Cephalonia need repair work, according to Stratos Simopoulos, secretary general at the Ministry of Public Works.

Speaking on Skai television on Wednesday Simopoulos noted that the priority was to make the island "operational" through repair work at the island's ports and road infrastructure.

Hundreds of people have been left homeless on the Ionian island following tremors measuring 5.8 and 5.7 on the Richter scale.

The island was expected to be declared “earthquake-hit” in the coming days, a prerequisite for further financial support and repairs, which includes state funding to cover rent for families who were forced to leaver their homes.

"Efforts are being made to solve problems before the tourist season begins,” said Simopoulos.

Meanwhile, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was expected to visit the quake-stricken island on Wednesday.