The Terrible Earthquake of 1867 that happened in Kefalonia on 22nd January

Whilst most of us on island and some visitors are very aware of the 1953 and 2014 earthquakes in Kefalonia, here is a very inciteful article on one further back in time, shortly The Kefalonia Pulse will write a holistic article on recorded Kefalonia earthquakes.


Anniversary of the Earthquake in the Holy Monastery of Koronatos

The Terrible Earthquake of 1867 in Kefalonia - Anniversary of the Earthquake in the Holy Monastery of Koronatos

The terrible earthquake of 1867 – Anniversary of the Earthquake in the Holy Monastery of Koronatos

On January 22, 1867, at 8 o’clock in the afternoon there was a seasick vibration on the land of Kefalonia, for which none of the inhabitants paid attention. It was dawn on January 23, Monday at 6:00 am, morning still, the residents were in bed, horrible revolted by a severe earthquake that lasted from 25 to 30. Subsequent smaller earthquakes followed, and at 11 am there were great vibrations that filled the disaster. The story-maker Elias Tsitselis informs us that the earthquake has been announced by the smallest numerous earthquakes and bad weather events of the past year 1866 on January 25th.

The various seismologists-explorers tried to draw conclusions about the direction of the earthquake by calculating the magnitude of the destruction and the direction of the fall of the ruins. It is certain that the earthquake affected the Paliki area, where the site of the earthquake (Rifi – Damoulianata – Agia Thekouli area) was located. The stone windmills of the Rifi Hill suffered great cracks without collapsing. The villages became a heap of ruins.Great was the destruction of St. Thekla, since it is built on the mountainside.

In his book ” Cephalonia and Ithaca ” , Joseph Spots gives us the magnitude of the destruction of Saint Thecla : “The destruction of this village was so perfect that it was impossible for them to distinguish the boundaries of the estates in the ruins of the ruins.Here, in the main outbreak of the earthquake, it seems that the first vibration was almost the destruction. “

Less but not insignificant damage caused the earthquake in Upper and Lower Livathos.

Damage suffered the villages of Lakithra, Koriana, Klissemata, Karantinata and Fokata. The scholar Panagis Vergotas in his book “The Earthquake of 23 January 1867” tells us about the magnitude of the destruction through the numbers of the dead. In Argostoli 5, 35 in Lixouri, 19 in Agia Theklis, Damoulianata 43, 7 in Mandzavinata, 3 in Vouni, 17 in Havriata, 17 in Rifi, 17 in Scania, 2 in Kontoenada, 3 in Lukerata, 2 in Decatra, 2 in Calatas, 2 in Atheras, 19 in Covalatas, 19 in Thinia, 2 in Sami and 1 in Asos and too many injured.

Generally, the official report compiled numbered across Kefalonia, 2642 destroyed houses, 2946 damage and 244 dead. The total damage was estimated at 15 million drachmas, and no neighboring island suffered any damage.

The villages near Agia Thekouli, Kalata, Kemarata, Kemarata were completely destroyed.Villages whose territory was of different composition from the ruined villages and were far from the seat of the earthquake, were not destroyed


The villages of Parisata, Monopolata, Vilatoria, Boviaki, Kontoenada were damaged but not entirely. Also the villages of Kovalatas, Lukerata, Typaldata, Sullaroi and Mandavinata were completely destroyed.

Mihalitsata was destroyed by the nine tenths. Lixuri lost 35 people and half of the houses were destroyed. Pantokrator’s bell tower bent toward the Northeast. Next to Potami he opened the ground in a slit of more than 100 meters and one meter wide.

The destruction was also great in North Palika, Thinia, whose villages are in clay soils. The arc of the earthquake collapsed and was inhabited in Kontogourates -Kouroklata -Delinata as well as in the houses of the villages of Livathos. Of course, as we move to Krania’s heights, the losses and losses of the houses that were recorded were much less.

According to tradition, then a pious Christian, a resident of the Lixouri area, “saw a vision that the earthquake would sink the island, but Koroniotissa, who was crying outthrough this affections , saved the island of Kefallinia .” In the morning people went along with the pious Christian at the Monastery of Our Lady of Koroniotasi to thank her and found the Holy Image of the throne, dropped down and outgoing tears from her eyes, which seem to be today. Since then, this miracle of the Virgin Mary is celebrated and every eve on January 22 at 8:00 pm on the anniversary of January 23, 1867, it becomes overnight with great world participation.

The great earthquake of 1867, which marked the Lixouri area and Pallika in general, is poetically and lacconically depicted on a wall-mounted plate that is still preserved in Anna Kassimoropoulou’s residence at Agios Nikolaos Square in Lixouri. Note that it is the only earthquake that is found throughout Cephalonia.


“I remember reading

Terrible fearsome earthquake

Be careful not to forget

That horrible day

January 23rd

Which was then destroyed

The Unfortunate Patriarch 1867 »


George Milos


Pars Joseph, Kefallinia and Ithaca, Athens 1892.

Tsitselis Ilias, Cephalonian Composites, 2nd ed .

Gheli Konstantinou, Holy Monastery of Koronatou, Athens 1995

Vergotas Panagis, ” The earthquake of 23 January 1867 “

G. Salmon. ” The contract Cephalonia destruction ‘, T MEF’ PROGRESS ‘ 1867.

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