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12/09

We eat, drink and get on with it

Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. It is riddled with fault lines and frequently experiences earthquakes. We visited the town of Nafpaktos, near the Corinth – Patras rift which experienced a 5.1m earthquake in January this year. We talked to some of the local residents to understand what life is like living in the shadow of so many earthquakes.

Dimitry, a local restaurant owner

Zoi and Alessandro, both Mums from the local area

It seems that Greece’s strict approach to building regulations, combined with a great grass-roots level education programme gives people like Dimitry and Zoi confidence to deal with what may come:

“We only have maybe two or three earthquakes a year here. The biggest we’ve had is 5.5 but nothing happened because the houses are very strong.”

“It feels a little bit shaky – like you’re in a boat. Sometimes it goes up and down. Yes it is frightening. You say God help me and cross your chest. Just that. There are a lot here, but people aren’t afraid.”

“The government, the news, the schools they tell us how to take care of ourselves on TV. Our kids know, they know how to take care of themselves. They practice at school – they give them lessons when they are 6 or 7 years old and in high schools too.”

“There could be another earthquake any time. Nobody knows. Only God knows. So many times, any time. You go out and drink and eat and that’s it.”

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