Alonissos Earthquake of 1965

The Earthquake of 1965 in Alonissos: The earthquake of 1965 had its epicenter just off the coast of Alonissos and Skopelos, Sporades island, Greece. It was a devastating earthquake for the island of Alonissos. Much of the old Alonissos village or Chora, as it is known, capital of the island till 1965, was destroyed. The quake first struck Greece on March 3, 1965. A series of quakes and associated tsunami waves lashed the Greek shores from March 1965 to September 1966.

Landslides were another dangerous effect of the earthquake that also caused many damages. The after shock that followed aggravated the devastation further. The ground movements were acute at the epicenter, reaching 60 mm on the record plate of a standard Wilmot seismoscope.

Scared, the inhabitants left the village of Chora to settle in a new place atop a hill. They build the new capital Patitiri, which was rapidly developed into the biggest village of the island. Patitiri is located 4 kilometers to the northwest of the port and the old village. By now, most of the houses in Chora have been restored to house cafes, taverns or small shops.

Some houses have also turned into summer residences, with small balconies or verandas decorated with flowering plants. This makes the village very appealing and lends a joyous charm. Some of the destroyed buildings were bought by foreigners, especially Germans and English, who wanted to build a summer house on the island. Fortunately, some historical sites have survived the earthquake and stand till today. Such sites are the old Byzantine walls and the Byzantine churches of Alonissos, as for example the chapel of Agioi Anargyroi.

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