The Latest: 2 dead, 500 hurt as 6.7 quake rocks Aegean Sea
KOS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on the earthquake that hit the Aegean Sea region (all times local):
A powerful earthquake has shaken shook beach resorts in Greece and Turkey, killing two tourists crushed when a building collapsed on a bar in the Greek island of Kos and injuring nearly 500 others across the Aegean Sea region.
Only a few miles apart, Kos and the Turkish resort of Bodrum were hit hours before dawn by the shallow undersea quake that caused a two-foot (0.6-meter) sea swell and havoc among residents and thousands of vacationers at bars and restaurants.
The U.S. Geological survey measured the quake as being of magnitude 6.7, with Greek and Turkish estimates a fraction lower.
Kos resident Vassilis Megas told The Associated Press the earthquake was “shocking, terrifying ... The whole house shook back and forth. People ran out into streets. We did too, and stayed out all night.”
Sweden’s foreign ministry has confirmed that the second victim of the earthquake that struck the Greek island of Kos overnight was a 20-year-old man who lived in central Sweden.
His name was not revealed.
In a Twitter message, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom offered her condolences to the relatives of those who perished and were injured in Greece and Turkey and said that her ministry would keep a close contact with Swedish citizens travelling in the area.
Norway’s foreign ministry said a Norwegian man was seriously injured in Kos during the earthquake and was flown to a hospital for treatment.
The EU is offering emergency equipment, personnel and satellite imagery to help Greece deal with the aftermath of the overnight earthquake.
The bloc’s commissioner for humanitarian aid, Christos Stylianides, offered condolences and said “the EU offers its full support” after Friday’s quake that killed two people on the island of Kos. The quake, which also struck the shores of nearby Turkey, injured some 200 people.
Stylianides’ office is in touch with Greek officials and ready to send equipment and provide satellite images to help civil protection authorities locate potential victims or damage.
Seismic activity is common around the Aegean Sea.
Greek health officials say 13 people have been airlifted to hospitals in Athens and on the islands of Rhodes and Crete following Friday’s pre-dawn earthquake that killed two people on Kos.
A spokesman for a state hospital in the Cretan city of Iraklio said they had received four patients, including two people in critical condition, one with a head injury and one who had to have a leg amputated due to injury.
Authorities have not listed the nationalities of those seriously injured, but police officials involved in the operation said that one Norwegian national, one Turk, one Albanian and one Greek were included in the list of airlifted patients.
A top Turkish official has named the Turkish national killed in a powerful earthquake on the Greek island of Kos.
Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu, speaking Friday in quake-hit resort town of Bodrum, said the tourist was named Sinan Kurdoglu. No other details were provided. He said another Turkish national was injured, adding: “All of our state’s institutions are here for our citizens.”
Health Minister Ahmet Demircan said 358 people were hurt in the earthquake. Earlier, officials said the injuries were mostly sustained as people were fleeing their homes.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a Turkish citizen was killed on the Greek island of Kos during the powerful earthquake that struck the area overnight.
The ministry said Friday that a second Turkish national was in serious condition and was being evacuated to Athens for treatment. It did not identify the victim, saying authorities were still trying to reach his or her family members.
Turkish authorities have sent a 250-person vessel from the Turkish resort of Bodrum to Kos to start evacuating some 200 Turkish tourists stranded on the island, the ministry also said.
It said Greek authorities had granted the ship special permission to approach a pier at Kos where the port and customs building was damaged.
Kos is a popular destination for Turkish visitors.
Turkey’s Istanbul-based earthquake research center says the powerful quake that hit the Aegean Sea caused a small ‘tsunami’ at the Turkish resort of Bodrum, where waters surged but damage was limited and appeared only slight.
The Kandilli Observatory’ director, Haluk Ozener, told reporters Friday that the tsunami waters swept between 10 and 100 meters (yards) in to the coast.
The Observatory said the quake’s magnitude was 6.6. Ozener said it was followed by some 160 aftershocks, the highest measuring 4.8.
Turkish media reports say the powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the Aegean coast caused cracks on the walls of some buildings in the resort of Bodrum, flooded the lower floors of sea-front hotels and restaurants and sent moored boats crashing toward the shore.
Tourists and residents spent the night outside on beach loungers or in cars.
Boat captain Metin Kestaneci, 40, told the private Dogan news agency that he was asleep on his vessel when the quake hit.
“There was first a noise and then a roar. Before I could ask ‘what’s happening?’ my boat was dragged toward the shore. We found ourselves on the shore,” Kestaneci said. “I’ve never experienced such a thing.”
A local official says about 70 people were treated in hospitals in the Turkish resort of Bodrum for minor injuries after a powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake sent people rushing to the streets.
Bodrum’s district governor Bekir Yilmaz says Friday that most injuries were sustained while people were fleeing their homes in panic, according to private Dogan news agency. There were no fatalities in Turkey.
Speaking in Bodrum, the head of Turkey’s disaster and emergency authority says tourists could continue their holidays. Mehmet Halis Biden said, “We expect life in our tourism town to go back to normal in a speedy way,” as quoted by Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.
Dogan news agency reported some tourists leaving Bodrum on the first morning flights. One local tourist said he chose to leave because people were not allowed in their hotel rooms.
Greek authorities say two tourists killed in an overnight earthquake on the island of Kos are from Turkey and Sweden.
Fire Service rescue chief Stephanos Kolokouris told state television that the two men had been identified but gave no further details.
He said one of the five people seriously injured had been identified as being Greek.
The two tourists died after a wall collapsed onto a bar in the Old Town of the island’s main port, he said. The 6.5-magnitude quake struck about 1:30 a.m. Friday..