Powerful earthquake hits off Turkey’s western coast (VIDEO)
[Updated in 12:00 am]
A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.7 between Bodrum and Greek islands has killed at least two people on the island of Kos and injured 200 in Greek and Turkish coastal towns.
The quake struck near major tourist destinations around the Aegean sea in the early hours of Friday, Turkish and Greek officials said. Around 200 people have been injured, officials said, with at least 120 on Kos and 70 in Turkey.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors earthquakes, said it was a very shallow quake – only 10km (6.2 miles) below the seabed – off the southwestern coastal city of Marmaris in the Mugla province. The epicentre was just 10km south of the Turkish resort of Bodrum and 16km east-northeast of Kos.
George Kyritsis, the mayor of Kos, told Reuters that at least two people - male tourists from Turkey and Sweden - were killed in the Greek island and several were injured by the quake. “We have two dead and some people injured so far,” Kyritsis said.
A hospital official on the island said they had been killed when the ceiling of a building collapsed. Emergency services said the affected area was a bar in the centre of Kos town, AFP reported.
The chairman of Turkey’s disaster and emergency management presidency (AFAD), Mehmet Halis Bilden, warned citizens about incoming aftershocks, but added there were no casualties or major damage in Turkey.
Around 70 people are believed to have been treated for injuries in Bodrum.
Greek authorities have now listed the five seriously injured people who were flown to Crete by emergency services earlier today as: two Swedes; one Norwegian; a Greek man and a Greek woman. One is reported to have suffered extensive leg injuries. All are thought to have been in the bar, whose roof collapsed, when the earthquake struck.
Between 2am and 4am, about 95 people were either admitted, or admitted themselves, to the local hospital on Kos. First aid was administered to about 85 more, who then left, the Guardian reported.
The quake has produced more than 100 aftershocks, seismologists say. A second tremor measuring 5.1 Richter struck 26 km south of Leros, after the initial earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit Kos at 1:53am. Three further tremors measuring 4.6, 4.5 and 4.7 followed.