On Sunday, his body will be taken to his hometown, Smokovo Karditsa, where he will be buried in a close family circle.
On Sunday at noon in Thessaloniki, in the holy church of God Sophia, the funeral of professor Vassilis Papazachos, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
At 13:30 the funeral service will be held and on Sunday his body will be taken to his hometown, Smokovo Karditsa, where he will be buried in a close family circle.
Vassilis Papazachos, a brilliant scientist and a wonderful man, leaves behind a strong legacy: he highlighted in the great “laboratory” of nature, the seismic faults across the territory, that is, which he had almost turned into his “home”, a generation of young seismologists, that carry its own scientific DNA and continue the work they built together over decades in the seismic field.
He also bequeaths to the science of Geophysics at least nine books, more than two hundred publications in the most authoritative foreign scientific journals, innumerable participations and interventions in international conferences, a huge contribution to the formation of the country’s modern anti-seismic policy and, in general, a great work.
He takes with him, on the long eternal journey to where “the righteous rest”, the unlimited respect and love of all Greeks, who more than once “hung from his lips”.
Who hasn’t wondered during one of the many earthquakes in Greece, “what does Papazachos say?”.
And he, willing to answer everything, took care, if not to be reassuring, above all not to sow panic in society.
He was in danger of becoming monotonous with his constant refrain that science is not yet able to predict an earthquake with such precision (date, time, location) that people will leave their homes.
“The damage from panic can turn out to be greater than that of an earthquake. To realize that we are still not able to predict the earthquake with absolute accuracy. But we know which are the most dangerous areas and there we have to strengthen the constructions, check the old public buildings, build strong houses and educate the population so that they know what to do in the time of the earthquake”, he said every time who asked him the question “what should we do to protect ourselves from the earthquake?”.
His advice to the Prime Minister (then) Konstantinos Karamanlis was negative when he asked him for his opinion on the great earthquake of Thessaloniki (6.5 Richter, 48 dead) of June 22, 1978 on whether he should order the evacuation of the city in view of a rumored larger and possibly more destructive earthquake.
He himself never left his apartment in the center of Thessaloniki, behind the Rotunda, when Enceladus visited the city – he was not afraid of him.
“Vasilios Papazachos served his science and the Aristotle University with ethics, consistency and dedication”, it is stated in the announcement of the rector’s authorities and it is pointed out that “his name has been closely associated with Thessaloniki and its inhabitants with the great earthquake of 1978” and it is added: “as a scientist and university teacher, he leaves as a legacy both his highest level scientific work and his students and successors”.
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