August 14, 1953

IONIAN EARTHQUAKE: The three picturesque islands in the Ionian Sea are now wastelands of flaming ruins. Fresh earth tremors have completed the destruction of whatever was left standing on the islands of Zakynthos, Cephalonia and Ithaca. The hospital on Zakynthos collapsed, burying all the injured being treated there. «I saw the coastal hills sliding down into the sea,» said a representative of the American mission in Cephalonia. (…) As of yesterday morning, 15 Royal Air Force planes have been dropping food and medical supplies onto the three islands. An order has been given for a complete mechanized brigade from the Ioannina division to go to Cephalonia to be put at the service of the senior military coordinator, Lt. Gen. Iatridou. Another brigade of infantry has already left for Zakynthos, and over 38 navy and auxiliary craft have been sailing day and night to bring food, medical and other supplies to the ports of Argostoli, Zakynthos, Ithaca and Sami. SHIPPING BAN: Yesterday evening the Shipping Ministry banned the docking of passenger ships on the islands of Cephalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca in order to stop people abandoning the islands. Passenger ships that have been mobilized will be picking up only the injured and seriously ill to take them to the mainland.