Great 1953 Ionian Earthquake struck the southern
Islands in Greece on August
In mid-August 1953, beginning on 8 August there
were over 113 recorded earthquakes in the region between Kefalonia
and Zakynthos, but the most destructive was the earthquake of
. That earthquake measured 7.2 on the surface wave magnitude scale and
caused widespread damage throughout the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos.
The quake struck at 09:24 (UTC) or 11:24 (local time). Four Israeli
warships received S.O.S. signals coming from the Island of
Kefalonia and the ships headed to the island. The sailors were
providing emergency medical aid, food and water. This was the first
time Israel had provided aid to a disaster-stricken area.
The earthquake is most notably known as the great Kefalonia
Earthquake; yet in Zakynthos town, that island's capital, only two
buildings survived the earthquake and the rest of the town's
capital had to be rebuilt. Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia, also suffered
As well as causing major destruction on the two islands, the
economic impact of the earthquake was far greater, and damage was
estimated to have totaled billions of Drachmas
. Many people fled the island after the
earthquake, leaving the island as well as its economy in
Today earthquakes regular shake the islands of Zakynthos and
Kefalonia, including the 2006 earthquake swarm of Zakynthos and two
earthquakes in 2003 and 2005, respectively.