Powerful 6.7 magnitudes Earthquake struck on the Greek island of Kos in the early hour of Friday, killing at least two people and injured several. It is a popular summer resort holiday destination of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece and the Aegean coast of Turkey.
The epicentre of the quake was approximately 10.3 kilometres (6.4 miles) south of the major Turkish resort of Bodrum, and 16.2 kilometres east of the island of Kos in Greece, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It had a depth of 10 kilometres.
Two people were killed on the Greek island of Kos, a hospital official on the island told AFP, confirming they had been killed after the ceiling of a building collapsed. There was no immediate information on the identity of the dead.
The affected area was a bar in the center of Kos town. The mayor of Kos Georges Kyritsis said several people were injured.
In the Turkish resort of Bodrum, television pictures showed crowds of worried residents and holidaymakers running in the streets. “The biggest problem at the moment is 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.
The state hospital in Bodrum was evacuated after cracks appeared, with incoming patients being examined in a garden outside. The governor of the southern Mugla province said some people had been slightly injured after falling out of windows in panic.
The Greek coastguard said damage was reported to the port of Kos, which is near a tourist strip of cafes and bars. A passenger ferry was unable to dock because of extensive damage.
The European quake agency EMSC said a small tsunami could be caused by the quake, but Turkish broadcasters cited officials saying large waves were more likely.
Several stores were damaged in Bodrum’s Gumbet district as a result of rising sea levels, store owners told broadcaster NTV.
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.
The quake was also felt on the Datca peninsula — also a major resort area — as well as Turkey’s third city of Izmir on the Aegean to the north.
The quake was also felt on the Greek island of Rhodes. “We were very surprised. We were scared and we immediately went outside,” Teddy Dijoux, who was holidaying with his family at a Rhodes resort, told AFP.
“That lasted a long time. I quickly gathered up my children to leave the hotel,” said holidaymaker Sylvie Jannot.
Turkey and Greece sit on significant fault lines and have regularly been hit by earthquakes in recent years. This year alone, Turkey’s western Aegean coast was hit by several significant earthquakes, which brought back memories of past deadly earthquakes.
In June, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake gutted a village on the Greek island of Lesbos, killing a woman and leaving more than 15 injured. The quake also caused panic on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
On August 17, 1999, a huge earthquake measuring more than 7.0 magnitude near the city of Izmit devastated vast areas in the country’s densely populated northwestern zone, notably around Istanbul, killing over 17,000 people.