The celebration that ended in a black tragedy on the Liopetri River
It was 1919 on the day of the feast of the Holy Spirit when three villages of Cyprus sank into mourning, losing 25 lives.
The tragic and sad event took place in the River of Liopetri when residents of the villages of Xylofagou, Liopetri and Avgorou were transported by boat to the chapel of Agios Georgios.
At some point the boat capsized and everyone fell into the sea, trying to escape but for many it was too late… Among the dead were mostly children.
Mrs. Hatzinou Antonis Partakkis from Avgorou is a tragic figure: "Parthenakis' genius was dragged twice by the living sea, and twice he fell back to catch her graves, and he was killed by a gypsy," describes a man who.
Since then, the Flood Festival has not taken place again on the Liopetri River.
The inhabitants of Xylofagos avoid going to the river that day and go to church in the chapel of Panagia.
The story is told by the reader Christoforos Fekkas, as he posted it on his page:
Like every year… Residents of the villages of the province of Famagusta, went early in the morning to the River of Liopetri to attend the Divine Liturgy in the chapel of Agios Georgios and then to have fun dancing, singing and boating.
The boat capsized and everyone in it was found at sea and most of them died tragically. Unfortunately, however, the celebration ended in tragedy and mourning 3 villages.
Boatmen, in order to secure as much money as possible in each boat, put more passengers than they should. In one of them, more than 30 passengers entered and all of them were women and children.
The boat was moving deep and the children's faces were full of joy, one of the survivors said at the time. When the boat had to return, the tragedy happened. The newspapers of the time report: "Suddenly, however, the boat brought a strong current of air and the boatman considered it good to return, and he began to turn the sail. The occupants of the boat then gathered towards the right side of it, when the boat capsized and all those in it were found at sea and most of them were tragically killed. "
One of the survivors, Mr. Theofanis Loizou, had said at the time: "The boat was overcrowded, the boatmen were drunk and the abrupt turn they caused on the boat was the cause of the tragedy."
There was a lot of panic and everyone was running to help. Others in the boats and others swimming tried to catch up to save the victims but unfortunately…
Almost all of them were found dead floating in the river.
Mr. Antonis Nikolis (surviving), had said in an interview: "I was very young then, I remember when the boat came back I caught it on its edge and all those who fell fell on me. Then I kicked a few times and crossed over to the other side of the boat and found the boat's dock. I stayed there and watched the whole tragedy as if they were watching a movie. Women shouting for a minute, without being able to help at all. I stayed there until a boat came and they caught me. " She also describes a mother's persistent efforts to save her children. It was Mrs. Hatzinou Antonis Partakkis from Avgorou. He had said: "Partenakis' young man was twice dragged by the living sea that was thrown into the sea, and twice he fell backwards to catch her gifts, and they began to kill him."
The whole island sank into mourning and the newspaper "ELEFTHERIA" wrote in big letters on its front page: "Accident at sea" with the subtitle: "Drowning of 25 women and children".
Tragic report: 14 dead from Xylofagou, 8 from Liopetri and 3 from Avgorou. He was 2 to 20 years old. Two 30-year-old mothers were with them. In Xylofagou, the victims were buried in 3 mass graves.
The Flood of the Flood of Liopetri was not celebrated again. The inhabitants of Xylofagos avoid going to the river that day and go to church in the chapel of Panagia.