Greek island of Kefalonia hit by second strong earthquake in a week

Kefalonia earthquake

Earthquake damage at Lixouri port on Kefalonia. Photograph: AP

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the western Greek island of Kefalonia before dawn on Monday, sending frightened residents into the streets just over a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings.

Officials said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with heavy rain and cold temperatures.

Kefalonia’s mayor, Alexandros Parisis, said the port at the island’s second largest town of Lixouri had been damaged. Images from the area showed part of the pier breaking off and boats that had been on land for repair toppling over.

Earthquakes have been rattling Kefalonia for the past week, after a 5.9-magnitude tremor struck on 26 January.

The fire department said an eight-member rescue team with a sniffer dog was heading to the island as a precaution. The public order minister, Nikos Dendias, and his ministry’s secretary general were also heading to Kefalonia to co-ordinate the response.

The defence ministry said it was sending two military transport aircraft carrying 30 personnel and three doctors as well as tents and emergency supplies, and a military ship with digging vehicles, a mobile kitchen and a water tanker.

Seismologists said more aftershocks were to be expected on the island.

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