It has been well over a month since I have sat down to my desk—or any desk for that matter—for more than 15 minutes to complete any sort of task that would require a significant amount of time: prepare a lesson for my students, edit photos for the blog, write a post, browse with due devotion through my friends’ posts on their blogs or social media, engage, comment and share…
It has been well over a month that I sleep in sportswear suits, with my socks on—and I have never ever slept with socks on in the past, even on the coldest winter nights—and my running shoes by the bed so as, if woken up in the middle of the night, to be able to put them on in seconds: on account of the first earthquake, on January 26th, I had roamed rainy streets in my slippers for several hours and I have since learnt my lesson.
It has been well over a month that I have an emergency-backpack fully stocked, within easy reach, and refuse to either empty or store it… and it has been well over a month that every morning when I strip down to take a shower, I cannot help but think “ok, any other time I can probably handle, but not now—please NOT now!” Tee hee…
Then, last Wednesday, when I had finally decided it was high time I sat down to write a blog post on my recent experiences… boom! There he was again! “He” as in Enceladus/Enkelados the Giant, one of the sons of Gaia (Earth) & Uranus, buried by goddess Athena, after a battle, under Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy. Quoting Wikipedia on a bit of trivia → “The volcanic fires of Etna were said to be the breath of Enceladus, and its tremors to be caused by him rolling his injured side beneath the mountain… In Greece, an earthquake is still often called ‘a strike of Enceladus’”.
FYI Kefalonia had been struck 3 times these past months:
- on Sunday, January 26th [15:55 local time, a 5.9 magnitude (on the Richter magnitude scale), 18 kilometers deep].
- after almost exactly a week, on Monday, February 3rd [5:08 local time, a 5.8 magnitude, 2(!) kilometers deep]
- finally, the latest one, on Wednesday, March 5th [14:49 local time, a 4.9 magnitude, 19 kilometers deep]
My parents’ house, among many others, has suffered lots of damages but thank God, none were severe. There are, unfortunately, a million things to be done repair-wise in the following months, so that is going to be our next challenge.
Meanwhile, there have been more than 3.000 tremors in between major events. Scientists say that such aftershock sequences are typical post-seismic phenomena, that are expected to go on
forever for even up to 8 months. The island of Kefalonia/Cephalonia is well known for its seismic activity since we are geographically sitting on an active fault of the northern Ionian Sea rift (part of the Calabria-Peloritani Arc). Coming to think about it, Ι do have quite a few childhood memories of sleeping-in-the-car nights (1983, 1988, 1992) while my dad was only 18 years old when another major earthquake swept the island in 1953, with neighboring Ithaca and Zante suffering major damages too. Also, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake completely destroyed part of the island (the town of Lixouri) in February 1867. Yeah, I know… my birthplace rocks—pun fully intended!
Here’s a British Pathé News Special I discovered on YouTube about the 1953 “strike of Enceladus”: