Turkey, Greece Earthquake Kills Two
Aerial view of Bodrum on Turkish Riviera, Photo by monticello, Shutterstock.
In the early hours of Friday, an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 killed two people on the island of Kos in the Dodecanese Islands archipelago, and injured more than 120 people in Kos and 70 more people in the Turkish towns of Bodrum and Datca. The earthquake was very shallow and its epicentre was only 10km south of the Turkish tourist resort Bodrum and 16km east-northeast of Kos, which was the worst-hit part.
The mayor of Kos, Giorgos Kyritsis, confirmed that the two people, who were killed when the wall of a 1930s bar collapsed, were male tourists from Sweden and Turkey, but their names have not yet been revealed. Kyritsis said, “There are not many old buildings left on Kos. Nearly all the structures on the island have been built under the new codes to withstand earthquakes.” According to the Associated Press, at least 20 of those injured were at a Kos hospital with broken bones. Some of the wounded were airlifted to bigger hospitals in Rhodes and Crete. At least three are seriously injured.
In Bodrum, approximately 70 people were being treated for injuries, with some of them treated in the garden of the hospital after the building was evacuated because of cracks in the walls. Bodrum’s Mayor, Mehmet Kocadon, reported that there were some cracks on some buildings. And, Mugla governor Esengul Civelek confirmed that there wasn’t any major damage, with some people suffering minor injuries.
The chairman of Turkey’s disaster and emergency management presidency (AFAD), Mehmet Halis Bilden, warned about aftershocks but no major damage was recorded in Turkey. AFAD said that there were at least 20 aftershocks in Turkey and Greece, with five of them registered over 4.0 magnitude.
People spent the night outside, with many sleeping on the beach.
Since the tourist resorts are welcoming a number of tourists this summer, holiday companies such as Thomas Cook are contacting authorities on how to proceed with the booked flights, with some flights to Kos being cancelled. This weekend is considered to be one of the busiest of the tourist season. Two flights from Athens to Kos and two departure flights from Kos to Athens were cancelled. Other flights appear to be on time, as scheduled. Ferries to Kos have been temporarily suspended.
The UK foreign office advised British tourists to follow the local authorities’ directions. A spokesman said: “We are speaking to the Turkish and Greek authorities following an earthquake off the coast of Bodrum and near the island of Kos. Any British people in the areas affected should follow the instructions of local authorities.”