This "paradise on earth" suffered a series of four severe earthquakes in August 1953, resulting in the total destruction of the island's infrastructure, including most of its state archives. The third and most destructive of those quakes, registering 7.3 on the Richter Scale, occurred at 09:24 UTC (11:24 am local time) on August 12, 1953. It had its epicentre directly on the southern tip of the nearby island of Kefalonia and caused widespread destruction there as well. In addition, the quake was felt throughout most of the country. Only three buildings on Zakynthos were left standing after the disaster: the St. Dionysios Cathedral, the National Bank building and the church of St. Nicholas "tou Molou" (of the Quay). A few other buildings in outlying areas managed to avoid complete collapse.
The rebuilding of the island was subject to a very rigid anti-seismic code, and has thus withstood several moderate and powerful earthquakes at a small amount of damage.
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