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More shocks for Kefalonia

- by Dabs Banner

6.1 strong earthquake hits the island of Kefalonia just before dawn.

Just days after hotel owners on Kefalonia reassured tourists that hotel were safe despite more than 250 tremors, the island was hit by another major earthquake.

A strong quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale struck Kefalonia just before dawn today (Monday February 3) sending panicked residents across the island running out into the streets.

Greek radio so far reports damage at the port of Lixouri, Kefalonia's second largest town, with damage to buildings and minor injuries.

Authorities have no clear picture of the situation in outlying villages on the island's mountainous Pali peninsula.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute registered the quake, which struck just after 5 a.m. local time with a magnitude of 5.7 and an epicentre 12 kilometres north-west of the island's capital of Argostoli while the U.S. Geological Survey registered the shock at 6.1.

Earthquakes have been rattling Kefalonia constantly for more than a week following a 5.9-magnitude tremor that struck on January 26, damaging homes and injuring seven people.

Thousands of Kefalonia residents have abandoned their homes to live with relatives or in temporary accommodation provided by ships moored in Argostoli harbour.

The seismic shocks have reawakened memories of the devastating 7.2 magnitude quake that struck Kefalonia and Zante in 1953, one of a series of three that killed hundreds of people and destroyed nearly all the buildings on both islands.

The latest quakes have been felt right across western Greece and as far away as the Greek capital, Athens, nearly 300km to the west.

Kefalonia's mayor has urged people to leave their houses if they show any signs of damage. Power and water supplies have been cut and islanders have also had to cope with bad weather, heavy rains and low temperatures.