Published on Friday, July 21, 2017

Deadly earthquake disrupts holidays in Greece and Turkey



Tourists are being warned of flight and ferry disruption after a strong earthquake in the Aegean, which killed at least two people on the Greek island of Kos and caused extensive damage around the Turkish town of Bodrum.

The Foreign Office said transport in Greece had been 'significantly disrupted' as a result of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake, which struck seven miles north-east of Kos. There have since been several aftershocks.

Kos airport was closed for a few hours earlier today, but has since re-opened, however flights are being delayed.

At least 100 people were injured on the island, which is popular with British holidaymakers, and some buildings were damaged.

In the Turkish city of Bodrum, several people were injured in the quake, which struck at around 1.30 am. The Foreign Office updated its travel advice, saying: "You should be aware of the possibility of aftershocks, and follow the advice of the local authorities and/or your tour operator. This page will be updated as the situation develops."

ABTA said: "Holidaymakers in resort and those due to travel should contact their travel company for the latest updates.

"ABTA members are working hard to support customers and staff in resort and they have not reported any casualties or injuries affecting UK holidaymakers.

"Tour operators are working alongside the local authorities to assess the damage, and will make arrangements to move customers should structural damage be found to their accommodation.

"Holidaymakers in the areas affected are advised to follow the advice of the Foreign Office, local authorities and their travel provider.

"Customers imminently due to travel to this region will be contacted by their tour operator, should it be necessary to discuss changes to their holiday arrangements.

"ABTA continues to monitor the situation."

Thomson and First Choice said they were providing assistance to clients in affected resorts. In a statement, they said: "We're aware of an earthquake which occurred off the coast of Turkey and Greece and was felt in many areas including Kos and Bodrum in Turkey.

"We are working closely with our teams in resort and the authorities to provide assistance to those affected.

"More information will be released as it becomes available."

The two killed have not been named but police said one was Swedish and the other Turkish. They were crushed by falling debris.

Kos was nearest to the epicentre of the quake and appeared to be the worst hit, with damage caused to a number of older buildings, including cracked walls and smashed windows, according to the BBC.

The mayor said the buildings that suffered the most damage were built before 'earthquake building codes' were introduced.

"The rest of the island has no problem. It's only the main town that has a problem," Mayor Giorgos Kyritsis said.

The roof of a bar on the island also collapsed, and a ferry was unable to dock due to damage at the harbour, Greek police said.

In Bodrum, there was localised flooding and about 70 people received hospital treatment for minor injuries.

The earthquake was felt as far away as Altinkum, about 500 miles from Bodrum, where British tourists fled from their rooms.

The earthquake also triggered high waves off Gumbet, a resort town near Bodrum, which flooded roads.

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