A powerful earthquake struck the Greek island of Kos in the early hours of Friday morning. The 6.5-magnitude quake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island. More than a hundred people have been injured and authorities have confirmed that two people died in the collapse.
At least five other people were seriously injured on Kos as tourists and local residents scrambled out of buildings, some even leaping from balconies. Tens of thousands of tourists spent the night outdoors on Kos, many sleeping on sunbeds along beaches as a quake-related sea swell subsided. The quake damaged churches, an old mosque, and the port’s 14th century castle, along with old buildings in the town.
A seafront road and parts of the island’s main town were flooded for several hours; the rising seawater pushed a boat onto the main road, causing several cars to slam into each other. Ferry services were cancelled until further inspection, with passengers rerouted to nearby islands.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said:
“The damage on the island [of Kos] is not widespread. The airport is working, and the road network and infrastructure are in good shape.”
The quake, which occurred at 1.30am, also affected the nearby shores of Turkey, particularly the resort town of Bietz, causing some panic which related in minor injuries only.