A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.7 has killed two people foreign tourists and more than 200 people injured in Greek on the island of Kos and Turkish coastal towns. The earthquake struck near the tourist destinations around the Aegean sea in the morning, The officials of Turkish and Greek said. They said around 200 people have been injured in which 120 on Kos and at least 70 in Turkey.
The Geological Survey of United States which monitors earthquakes said that it was a very shallow earthquake with epicentre at only 10.3 Km below the seabed off the south western coastal city of Marmaris in the Mugla province. The epicentre was just 10 km south of the Turkish resort of Bodrum and 16 km east-northeast of Kos which is a magnet for holiday makers in the summer.
The Turkish towns of Datca, Bodrum and Kos in the Dodecanese Islands are all major tourist destinations. The mayor of Kos, George Kyritsis, told Reuters that two people were killed in the Greek island and several peoples were injured in the earthquake.
The officials of hospital on the island told AFP that the two persons had been killed as soon as the roof of a building collapsed. The officials of Emergency services said that the affected area was a bar in the centre of Kos town.
The coast guard said, The port of the island was among the structures that sustained damage and the route was not docking. While the fire service from Greece told that it had rescued three injured persons from that damaged building.
Mehmet Halis Bilden, the chairman of Turkey disaster and emergency management presidency warned the citizens about some more incoming aftershocks but he also added that there were no casualties or major damage in Turkey.
Mehmet Halis Bilden told broadcaster CNN Turk that our people should know about incoming aftershocks, so they should refrain from entering vulnerable structures.
AFAD told, at least 20 aftershocks in Turkey and Greece after the mainshock at 1.31am according to local time on Friday. Also with minimum five aftershocks registered over the magnitude of 4.0 and with the largest at 4.6.
However, The 6.7 magnitude earthquake is considered as a strong and is capable of causing major damage. But the effects of this quake would have been decreased because it strike in the sea area. The EMSC, the European earthquake agency said that a small tsunami could be caused by the this earthquake, but Turkish broadcasters officials said about large waves were more likely to happen.
A Television footage from Turkey Mugla province showed that hundreds of people relinquishing their houses and waiting on the streets and some of the people ran away from houses on roads. When the earthquake happened, it showed cars were shaking and the products were falling off from the shelves at stores across the region.
The UK foreign office has advised British tourists to follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators. A spokesman said,” We are speaking to the Greek and Turkish authorities following an earthquake off the coast of Bodrum and kos. Any British people should follow the instructions of local authorities in the area.”
The earthquake struck at the start of the tourist season, with many travellers who were expected to arrive in the coming weeks. It has been expected that this Saturday would be one of the busiest weekends for tourists arrival on island.
Currently, Two departure flights from Kos to Athens and Two arrival flights from Athens to Kos have been cancelled. But later this day the flights are scheduled as normal.
The British tourists in the region have told of the panic that set in the earthquake hit area.
Kristian Stevens from Nelson in Lancashire was staying in Didim which is 100 km away from Bodrum, when he felt the building was shaking like a jelly. Sophie Wild from Canterbury, was in Altinkum which is 750 km from Bodrum described running for her life, when we realised it was an earthquake, we got an immediate sense to get out, we thought the building was going to crumble.
In Bitez, a resort town about 6km west of Bodrum, the earthquake was felt at 1:30 a.m and sent residents into the streets after that two strong aftershocks also followed.
The Hotel guests returned to their rooms to pick up their things but most of them chose to spend their night outside the hotel on roads by using sheets and cushions which they borrowed from nearby lounge chairs to build makeshift beds, an AP reporter said.
The Mugla governor, Esengul Civelek told the news conference that the initial reports showed that there was no major damage in that area, only a small number of people had suffered from minor injuries but the authorities would continuously providing supplies and assistance to citizens on the streets.
However, Osman Gurun , the Mugla mayor said that the power outages affected certain parts of the region and that telephone operators had experienced some difficulties due to overloads.
Mehmet Kocadon, the mayor of Bodrum said that the earthquake had caused minor cracks on some old buildings.
In October, 2011, more than 600 people died in eastern province of Van in Turkey after a earthquake of 7.2 magnitude. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes killed around 20000 people in the northwest of the country. Also the earthquake of 5.9 magnitude killed 143 people in Greece, in 1999.