Lesvos declared in state of emergency – 150 out of 254 houses uninhabitable

One hundred and fifty out of the 254 houses inspected so far by civil engineer crews in the village of Vrisa and other areas of Lesvos hit by the powerful earthquake on Monday were declared uninhabitable, Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis said on Tuesday during a press conference.

He also said 12 of the 14 schools which act as exam centers have been given the all-clear while a report on the remaining two is expected later tonight. Spirtzis said inspections will continue in the coming days.

The general secretariat of Civil Protection declared the island of Lesvos in state of emergency.

“The island was declared in state of emergency” said Yiannis Kapakis to the Athens Macedonian News Agency adding “we are doing whatever necessary to face the problems that have occured”.

“What is most important,” said Kapakis “is the protection of the citizen, the protection of their assets and the offering of hopsitality. Camps have been set up at the village next to Vrissa and the residents of quake stricken Vrissa, if they wish, can go there,” concluded Kapakis.

The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed on Tuesday his support to the victims of the earthquake in a tweet in Greek and English. “I stand in solidarity with the families of Lesbos that were hit by the devastating earthquake and assure them of our full support!” he tweeted.

Meanwhile. the government has decided against the use of container units to house Lesvos residents made homeless by Monday’s earthquake, opting to instead subsidise rents so that they can lease houses on the island, General Secretary for Infrastructure Giorgos Dedes told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday. In the meantime, he added, the procedures will begin to provide compensation for lost household effects and severely damaged housing.

He said that Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis visited the badly stricken village of Vrisa on Tuesday and pledged that all the damaged houses will be repaired and rebuilt, with respect for the village’s traditional architecture. To this end, Spirtzis announced, teams of experts from the National Technical University of Athens will be visiting the island to carry out the necessary technical surveys.

According to Dedes, the minister also promised to overcome all obstacles and delays in order to support earthquake victims throughout the island. Spirtzis arrived on the Lesvos with 80 civil engineers from the ministry that have started inspections of the damaged buildings, assisted by an additional 20 civil engineers supplied by the regional authority.

The first priority, the general secretary said, will be to pay earthquake victims the first emergency support benefit, which will be disbursed by Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou.