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US News Samos mourns "his two children" the day after a strong earthquake

21:15  31 october  2020
21:15  31 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Samos pleure © Provided by Le Point

The church facing the azure sea has partly collapsed, like hundreds of homes and businesses, but in the day after the 6.7 magnitude earthquake, Samos first mourns the death of her "two children", two teenagers who were killed on their way home from school.

In the small port village of Phytagorio on the Greek island, stand the Métamorphosis church and the ruins of the Lycourgou castle. At least what's left of it.

Large blocks of stones and some walls have collapsed and the entrance gate to the cemetery is totally destroyed.

For the priest Emmanouil, the church is henceforth "infrequent for ceremonies".

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But "the churches, the ports and the houses will be rebuilt. With the help of God and of men. But the lost souls do not return", he laments.

The calm and tranquility of the port of Pythagorio contrasted with the panic that gripped it on Friday at 11:51 GMT when the Aegean island of 45,000 inhabitants began to tremble and the water to rise.

It was at this time, at the port near Vathy, the island's capital, a 15-year-old girl and her 17-year-old friend were killed on their way home from school, buried under the rubble of 'a wall that has collapsed.

"The darkest chapter is the loss of our two children", assures Yorgos Stantzos, mayor of Vathy.

"We have the pandemic and now the earthquake", he complains. He hopes that there will not be any missing. The search for rescue teams is continuing.

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"It could be worse"

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the island on Saturday afternoon, and assured that the state would compensate the inhabitants.

"It could be worse", he commented.

The earthquake that has occurred off Samos, between Greece and Turkey, has mainly struck the Turkish city of Izmir, killing at least 25 people so far and injuring hundreds.

In Samos, around ten people were injured, two of whom were hospitalized in Athens.

Around 300 homes were damaged and more than seventy businesses suffered significant damage, Secretary of State for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias, who visited Samos, told AFP.

The morning in Vathy was punctuated by the movement of brooms and mops in the affected businesses.

Under the gaze of onlookers who have come to see the damage, the traders tackle the task.

Smells of alcohol escape from the alleys of the city center full of debris.

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"The bottles were falling from all sides, it was endless," describes Alexandros Giokarinis, producer of ouzo, a Greek alcoholic drink, who was in his shop when the earthquake shook the walls of his cellar.

"We took refuge under the desks while it was going by and we rushed outside as soon as it calmed down," he says.

On the seafront, tangled fishing nets spread out over the road. Several cars are drying up, hoods open.

"The sea has risen and has covered the coast. Fortunately, the islands are close to each other and the tsunami did not have time to swell", welcomes Nikos Valsamis, employee of the café on the port.

"I took my dogs and I went to the heights, the night was complicated," he says.

Michalis Kamourianos, fisherman, has lost his brand new nets. "There is at least for 4000 euros".

"I've never seen that", slips the man with white hair and tanned complexion by the still hot sun, in front of his caique, showing the cracks on the asphalt and a piece of concrete at the bottom of the sea, detached of the harbor by the tremors.

But "the real drama is the loss of the children".

31/10/2020 16:53:36 - Samos (Greece) (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

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