When we were on Cefalonia we heard a lot about earthquakes and how much they have changed the island throughout time. We even visited a school in Lixouri that is still heavely affected by the last big earthquake in 2014. Aliki also told us about how different Argostoli looked before 1953.
In August 1953 a huge earthquake destroyed most of the houses on Cefalonia and the neibouring island Zakynthos. The damage was enormous. Almost all the houses on Cefalonia had to be rebuilt, exept for those in Fiskardo and the upper north. Within one month there had been 113 recorded earthquakes in the area of Cefalonia and Zakinthos alone but the one on the twelve of August was the most destructive.
Greece is a place where many earthquakes occur. That is because it is located on the fault line between the Eurasian and the African plate. The north is located on the Eurasian and the southern part is located on the Aegean Sea plate which is a part of the Eurasian plate where the African plate pushes under which causes the earthquakes.
The last big earthquake was in 2014, mostly in Argostoli and Lixouri, the two biggest towns on Cefalonia. The earthquake destroyed houses and streets and about 16 people were injured but nobody died, which was a small miracle.
The school in Lixouri is still affected by the earthquake of 2014 because the school building was destroyed and since then they have had school in big containers right at the beach. That may sound like fun but it actually causes a lot of problems: When it rains it gets so loud in the containers you can`t understand a word, the air conditioners are damaged very fast due to the salt water and the sun and when the sea is stormy the waves sometimes hit the containers.
The government promised to rebuild the school but because of the financial crisis in Greece they haven`t had the money for that yet and so, even four years after the earthquake, nothing has changed.
The students of the school even made a video to raise awareness. We watched it when we visited them and it really touched me. When we talked to them they told us that in summer, when the tourists are there, some people think they are refugees and that bothers them. They are amazing, friendly people and I really hope they will have school in a real building again very soon.
I know this school quite well, as we stay in Lixouri every year. It’s a real pity they didn’t finish it yet.