A powerful magnitude-6.7 quake has struck off the south west coast of Bodrum, Turkey, triggering a tsunami and leaving two people dead and hundreds more injured.
The earthquake struck overnight. The tsunami that resulted thereof hit tourist resorts in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, damaging buildings across the region, carrying away cars and depositing boats in town streets. Tourists fled their hotels in terror and some even jumped from balconies as they ran for their lives.
Two male tourists – a 22-year-old from Sweden and a 39-year-old from Turkey – died on the Greek island of Kos after being crushed under a collapsed ceiling at the packed White Corner Club bar. Several others are injured with one tourist from Sweden losing both of his legs. A state of emergency had been declared on the island of Kos.
Rescuers have been sifting through rubble searching for trapped survivors. In Turkey, at least 70 people were admitted to hospitals in Bodrum. Video taken when the quake hit showed staff and patients at Bodrum State Hospital cowering for cover. The disaster caused a large electrical fire to break out in the city after a power pylon came crashing to the ground
Many tourists were forced to sleep outside, along the roads, or beaches after they were warned not to re-enter hotels damaged the quake. Kristian Stevens, 48, from Nelson in Lancashire said he had just gone to bed when, at around 1.30am local time, he felt the building he was in “shake like a jelly”.
He said: “It was quite surreal as I had just laid down in bed and the whole building shook. The whole building shook like a jelly. Many of the locals rushed out into the streets still in underwear. Some have been seen with blankets and pillows not sure if it is safe to return home.”
Sophie Wild said she ran from her third floor accommodation when she woke to a loud banging noise.
She said: “We were asleep and were awoken what sounded like banging on our door, it got louder and louder and the building started shaking. We jumped up ran to the balcony to see what it was (my first thought when we heard the banging was that we were being attacked). When we realised it was an earthquake, we got an immediate sense to get out, we thought the building was going to crumble around us. We ran down our stairs (from the third floor”. People were running out of rooms, banging on people’s doors to make sure they were out. Everyone just ran outside and waited for a couple of hours – it’s only now that people are starting to go back to their rooms. There are a few cracks in the walls but otherwise staff says it’s safe.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry confirmed a Turkish citizen had died and said a second national in serious condition was being evacuated to Athens for treatment. The country has also sent a vessel to the island to bring some 200 Turkish tourists home. A number of flights at the airport have been cancelled while the port suffered major damage and ships are unable to dock.