A strong earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, struck the island of Lefkada Tuesday, killing two people, injuring another eight and causing significant damage to homes and roads.
The quake, which struck the island’s south shortly after 9 a.m. was felt strongly on the Ionian island and on the adjacent islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca.
The first casualty was a woman, reported as 70 years old, who was crushed by a falling boulder that smashed through the wall of her home in the village of Ponti.
Another elderly woman also died in her home in the village of Athani, when a wall collapsed on her during the quake. At least four houses collapsed in Athani and another three were seriously damaged, along with the village church.
Similar damage was reported in several other villages in the island’s south.
State engineers were on Lefkada Tuesday, seeking to assess the scale and cost of the damage, while another team of experts was dispatched to Cephalonia and Ithaca, following reports of less serious damage there.
According to seismologists, the quake was no surprise. “We had clear signs that a strong quake like this was coming,” Thanassis Ganas, head of the Athens-based Geodynamic Institute, told Kathimerini.
Ganas said the distance between two seismic stations – one in the island’s south and one in the north – has shrunk over the years. “This distortion shows us that today’s earthquake was in the works.”