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Lefkas beach lost in earthquake

- by Dabs Banner

The beautiful beach of Egremni on Lefkas appears to have been lost following an island earthquake.

The beach on the south-west coast disappeared beneath the waves after a 6.1 quake was recorded on the Ionian island.

The award-winning beach of Egremni, noted for its long sweep of sand and impressive rock formations, has been lost, according to reports.

It is thought the tremor triggered landslides and rockfalls from the cliffs behind the sands and buried the beach in rubble.

The beach is regularly listed in best beach awards and is a major tourist attraction on Lefkas.

Backed by steep cliffs, beach visitors had to tackle 347 steep steps cut into the rock of the 150-metre cliff face to reach the sands and the clear turquoise waters.

Two people are known to have died in the earthquake which shook the whole island, causing extensive damage.

The tremor was felt throughout western Greece and caused extensive damage to roads and buildings on Lefkas.

The Greek government has declared a state of emergency on Lefkas as aftershocks continued to shake the island all week.

One of the victims of the earthquake was a 70-year-old woman who was crushed by a boulder that smashed through the wall of her home in the village of Ponti.

Another elderly woman also died in the village of Athani when the walls of her home collapsed.

Many houses were damaged in the quake, and several roads were closed owing to falling rocks and debris.

Similar damage was reported in several other villages in the south of the island and engineers were drafted in from the mainland to help restore communications.

Teams were also dispatched to neighbouring Kefalonia and Ithaca, following reports of damage there.

The Ionian islands are notorious for earthquakes. Kefalonia suffered a series of major tremors last year that caused widespread damage all over the island.

Some parts of Kefalonia were without electricity for several days and rescue efforts were hampered as several roads were blocked by landslides.

Hundreds were evacuated from damaged or dangerous homed and housed in emergency shelters or on ferry boats docked in the harbour at the capital of Argostoli.

The region is prone to tremors, and both Kefalonia and nearby Zante were devastated by a 7.2 quake in 1953 that razed many buildings across both islands.

Earthquakes regularly shake the islands of Zante and Kefalonia, and there have been several, notably in 2003, 2005 and 2006.