Global Travel

Two killed as strong earthquake hits Greece, Turkey

ISTANBUL: At least two people were killed on the Greek island of Kos on Friday, July 21 when a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook the popular summer resort holiday destinations of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece and the Aegean coast of Turkey.

The island of Kos was nearest to the epicentre and appeared to be the worst-hit. Giorgos Halkidios, Kos regional government official, said the number of injured was more than 100, reports Al Jazeera.

“Two or three of them are in serious condition and are in surgery,” he said.

He said the injured included people who were underneath a building that collapsed. Ferry services were suspended due to damage at Kos’s main port, where a 14th-century fortress also was damaged. A minaret from an old mosque also was damaged.

KOS TAKES BRUNT
Most of the damage was on Kos
, which is southwest of Turkey’s southeastern coast, Greek officials said according to the Associated Press.

Greece’s deputy minister of shipping and island policy said on state TV that most of the injuries are believed to be minor. The temblor caused people in Kos and in Turkey to flee buildings and prompted a warning to avoid beaches, reports NBC and Reuters.

Minor damage – cracks in buildings, smashed windows and trashed shops – appeared widespread, according to city officials.

 

“The rest of the island has no problem. It’s only the main town that has a problem,” Kos Mayor Giorgos Kyritsis told state-run Greek media. “The buildings affected were mostly old, and were built before the earthquake building codes were introduced.”

The epicentre of the quake was approximately 10.3 kilometres south of the major Turkish resort of Bodrum, a magnet for holidaymakers in the summer, and 16.2 kilometres east of the island of Kos in Greece, the US Geological Survey said.

It had a depth of 10 kilometres, USGS said.

BODRUM HIT
In the Turkish resort of Bodrum, television pictures showed throngs of worried residents and holidaymakers in the streets.

“The biggest problem at the moment are electricity cuts in certain areas (of the city),” Bodrum mayor Mehmet Kocadon told NTV television.

“There is light damage and no reports that anyone has been killed” in the area.

Reports said the state hospital in Bodrum was evacuated after cracks appeared, with incoming patients being examined in a garden outside.

The Adliye mosque in central Bodrum suffered some damage, with police cordoning it off to prevent people being wounded by fallen debris, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Turkish television said the earthquake triggered high waves off Gumbet near Bodrum which flooded the road and left parked cars stranded. There were no reports of casualties.

An AFP correspondent holidaying in Bodrum said the quake was followed by aftershocks.

The independent European quake agency EMSC warned people in Bodrum and Kos to avoid beaches. A sea-level monitoring station in Bodrum reported that the sea level rose by about seven-eighths of a centimeter after the quake.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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