Kos dusts it­self off after deadly quake hits is­land

Two killed, dozens in­jured by 6.6R tremor

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

One of Greece’s most pop­u­lar is­lands, Kos, was try­ing to re­cover yes­ter­day after a ma­jor earth­quake struck at around 1.30 a.m., killing two peo­ple, in­jur­ing dozens and caus­ing dam­age to the port.

The Geo­dy­namic In­sti­tute in Athens said the quake mea­sured 6.6 on the Richter scale. It caused dam­age to nu­mer­ous homes and lo­cal busi­nesses, as well as the is­land’s port, lead­ing to dis­rup­tions to ferry sched­ules.

A Turk­ish and a Swedish tourist, aged 39 and 22 years, died when the roof of a pop­u­lar bar col­lapsed. Around 115 peo­ple were in­jured, in­clud­ing tourists of var­i­ous na­tion­al­i­ties. Twelve of them suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

Speak­ing from the Turk­ish re­sort of Bo­drum across the Aegean, where the quake also in­flicted dam­age, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Hakan Cavu­soglu said the Turk­ish tourist killed in Kos was named Si­nan Kur­doglu. No other de­tails were pro­vided. Cavu­soglu said another Turk­ish na­tional was in­jured on the Greek is­land.

Swe­den’s For­eign Min­istry con­firmed that one of the vic­tims was a 20-year-old man who lived in cen­tral Swe­den. His name was not re­vealed. Nor­way’s For­eign Min­istry said a Nor­we­gian man was se­ri­ously in­jured and was flown to a hos­pi­tal for treat­ment.

Con­stantina Svy­nou, head of the hote­liers’ as­so­ci­a­tion in Kos, told Greek state tele­vi­sion ERT that many vis­i­tors had spent the night out­side their ho­tels after the quake struck

“There are about 200,000 tourists on the is­land, we are at the peak sea­son. Our first re­ac­tion was to calm the tourists, fol­low­ing ba­sic rules and evac­u­at­ing ho­tel build­ings,” Svy­nou said, adding that there had been no in­juries at ho­tels.

The EU of­fered emer­gency equip­ment, per­son­nel and satel­lite im­agery to help Greek au­thor­i­ties deal with the af­ter­math. Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man­i­tar­ian Aid Chris­tos Stylian­ides said “the EU of­fers its full sup­port.”

The US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey lo­cated the epi­cen­ter of the main quake in the Aegean Sea, about 16 kilo­me­ters from Kos’s main port, which was ren­dered out of ac­tion as safety checks were car­ried out. Ferry pas­sen­gers were rerouted to Nisy­ros and Ka­lym­nos.

Trans­port and In­fras­truc­ture Min­is­ter Chris­tos Spritzis was one of the mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment who vis­ited Kos yes­ter­day to see the dam­age first-hand and to speak to lo­cal of­fi­cials. He in­sisted that the is­land’s in­fras­truc­ture, roads and new build­ings had re­sisted the quake and its nu­mer­ous af­ter­shocks ad­mirably.

“As it is the sum­mer pe­riod, we should avoid over-dra­ma­tiz­ing events,” said gov­ern­ment spokesman Dim­itris Tzanakopou­los. “Ci­ti­zens should not heed ru­mors. They should only get their in­for­ma­tion from of­fi­cial voices.”

The earth­quake also prompted a change to the po­lit­i­cal sched­ule in Athens. Par­lia­ment was due to de­bate yes­ter­day whether to set up an in in­quiry to in­ves­ti­gate De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos’s con­tact with a con­victed drug smug­gler. This process was post­poned un­til Septem­ber.

A man passes by a bar on Kos yes­ter­day where two peo­ple were killed as a re­sult of a strong earth­quake on the is­land in the early hours of the morn­ing. One of the men was from nearby Turkey and the other from Swe­den.

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