The cost of a 6.1-Richter earthquake off the island of Lesvos last week is growing by the day, according to local authorities, as more than 500 buildings have been condemned and hundreds of residents are homeless.
“The situation is not entirely clear yet. The most recent surveys, for example, found that an apartment building in Mytilini has sustained damages that need to be repaired,” says Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos, referring to the island’s main town.
Over 300 people have been displaced by the quake, 232 of which are being temporarily housed in hotels and a nursing home. “We have asked for people with houses to let to come forward, since most of the hotel rooms being used need to be vacated in the next few days as they have been booked by tourists,” says Galinos. “It is therefore urgent that we locate all the houses that can be rented and the state activates relief measures such as subsidies for rent and the purchase of household equipment.”
Authorities are confident that tourism will not be affected, as the damage is mostly restricted to seven small villages that are off the usual tourist trail. “We would like to get the message out to visitors that the damage is restricted to a very small part of the island and will be dealt with,” says Galinos.