Two people are dead and hundreds more injured after a powerful earthquake struck off the Turkish coast overnight, triggering a tsunami that hit tourist resorts in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and damaging buildings across region.The epicentre of the magnitude 6.7 quake was off Bodrum, southwest Turkey, with the country’s Aegean coast and Greek holiday islands including Kos and Rhodes worst affected. Tens of thousands of tourists who were forced to sleep outdoors have now been warned of possible aftershocks.Holidaymakers fled hotels in terror and some even jumped from balconies as quake hit before running for their lives to higher ground as tsunami waves surged through beachfront resorts moments later, flooding bars and restaurants, carrying away cars and depositing boats in town streets.On the island of Kos, where a state of emergency has been declared, two male tourists a 22 year’s old from Sweden and a 39 year’s old from Turkey were killed after being crushed under a collapsed ceiling at the packed White Corner Club bar. Another man from Sweden has lost both of his legs, police said.Parts of a historic mosque in Kos Town also came crashing down into street and rescuers were this morning sifting through rubble looking for trapped survivors. Some 8,000 Britons are believed to be staying on island, which was also badly affected by the tsunami. In Turkey, at least 70 people were admitted to hospitals in Bodrum.
Tourists were forced to flee their rooms when quake hit at 1.31am local time (11.31pm BST). They gathered anxiously in street, and faced a sleepless night by the roadside or on beaches after they were warned not to re-enter damaged hotels.Kristian Stevens, from Nelson in Lancashire told he felt the building he was in ‘shake like a jelly’. The 48 year’s old said he had just gone to bed when the quake struck at around 1.30am local time.He told ‘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 locals rushed out into streets still in underwear. Some have been seen with blankets and pillows not sure if it is safe to return home.’ Sophie Wild told she ran from her third floor accommodation when she woke to a loud banging noise.
The 21 year’s old from Canterbury in Kent is coming to end of her holiday in Altinkum, around 500 miles away from Bodrum.She told ‘We were asleep and were awoken by what sounded like banging on our door, it got louder and louder and the building started shaking. We jumped up ran to 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 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 walls but otherwise staff says it’s safe.’
Local authorities ordered holidaymakers not to enter hotels due to likely aftershocks, with more than five quakes hitting area around Turkey in just two hours.The tremor struck at 1.31 am local time (11.31pm BST) approximately 6.4 miles south of Bodrum and 10 miles east of Kos. Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory told the quake was followed by some 160 aftershocks, the highest measuring 4.8.On Kos, four people were transferred to hospitals in Crete including one from Sweden who lost both legs in quake and another from Greece who jumped from her balcony.Hundreds of revellers were in or near the popular White Corner Club in old town of Kos when the building partially collapsed, killing two tourists.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.Kos Mayor Giorgos Kyritsis told state-run Greek media that buildings on island sustained structural damage in the quake that struck early Friday morning.Witnesses described sea ‘swelling’ as waves crashed over the sea wall when the tsunami struck.
Former footballer Kevin McNaughton said he felt the quake as far away as Dalaman, around 120 miles from Bodrum.The former Cardiff City player tweeted ‘Jesus just experienced earthquake in turkey, literally cr***ed myself room shaking allover place, Just stood outside now no sure what to do.’Among tourists in Kos was Scottish diving instructor Christopher Hackland who described scenes of panic after the quake struck.’The instant reaction was to get ourselves out of (hotel) room. There was banging. There was shaking. The light was swinging, banging on the ceiling, crockery falling out of the cupboards, and pans were making noise,’ Hackland, from the Scottish capital Edinburgh told the Associated Press.’There was a lot of screaming and crying and hysterics coming from the hotel. It felt like being at a theme park with one of the illusions, an optical illusion where you feel like you’re upside down.’Several tourists are stranded outside their hotel after an earthquake sent them streaming onto Lambi Beach on Kos Island.
She told ‘We were asleep in our hotel room when we were woken by really violent shaking, and we all were screaming and told to evacuate from the hotel.’She told they were able to return to the hotel just long enough to retrieve their passports before they were forced out again by tremors.Ms Duffy told no one was hurt but the broken glass made the area unsafe. She said most of the stranded tourists there are Dutch, Russian and German.Further down road in Lambi, British tourists reported panicked scenes as they were woken in the middle of the night.Will Edmonds was staying at the Blue Lagoon resort with his wife and two young children when he was woken ‘to what we thought was a terrorist attack’. ‘The building was shaking violently and all the other guests were screaming and panicking.’
In Bitez, a resort town west of Bodrum, quake sent frightened residents running into the streets.Hotel guests briefly returned to their rooms to pick up their belongings but chose to spend the rest of night outside, witnesses said.Some used sheets and cushions borrowed from nearby lounge chairs to build makeshift beds.Meanwhile in Rhodes, a journalist staying in Theologos, about 20 miles from the island’s main town, said their hotel ‘rocked like a boat and I thought it was going to collapse’.’We were very surprised. We were scared and we immediately went outside,’ said 38 year’s old Teddy Dijoux, who was holidaying with his family at a resort.’That lasted a long time. I quickly gathered up my children to leave the hotel,’ said holidaymaker Sylvie Jannot.British tourist John O’Brennan wrote on Twitter ‘Just experienced 30 second earthquake.
‘I hope there are no injuries. Building shook furiously. But all OK.’Tom Riesack added ‘Wow terrifying to wake up to massively shaking room at 6.7 earthquake on Kos thank God no one hurt, just shaken.’Daniel Markham, a councillor on Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council in Kent, said he too felt the effects on the Greek island of Rhodes. He tweeted ‘#earthquake #Rhodes felt it here too. Pretty strong. Looked out the window to see the waves in the pool.’The UK Foreign Office released a statement warning about the possibility of aftershocks and calling on Britons to follow advice of local authorities. It warned ‘An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 occurred off the coast of Kos on 21 July 2017. You should be aware of the possibility of aftershocks, and follow the advice of the local authorities and/or your tour operator.’Esengul Civelek, the governor of Mugla province, which contains Bodrum, said initial reports showed there were no fatalities in their region, with a small number of people suffering minor injuries.
HOW DO EARTHQUAKES TRIGGER TSUNAMIS?
The magnitude 6.7 quake triggered a colossal tsunami, leaving two dead and hundreds more injured.Tsunamis are generated from large and shallow quakes with an epicenter or fault line in ocean floor.These tsunamis usually occur at the boundary between two tectonic plates.When tectonic plates brush against or collide with each other, they trigger large rumbling earthquakes.The tremors quickly displace large areas of the ocean floor and thousands of miles of ocean bed can be offset by a single quake.This displacement generates long, high sea waves, which can spread for hundreds of miles to devastate land.
Usually, it takes an earthquake with a Richter magnitude exceeding 7.5 to produce a destructive tsunami, which explains why most tsunamis occur in the Pacific along its Ring of Fire, where large tectonic movements happen more frequently. Mugla Mayor Osman Gurun told power outages affected certain parts of the province and that telephone operators experienced shortages due to overloads. Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon said earthquake had caused cracks on some old buildings.Turkish broadcaster NTV reported that aftershocks were being felt in region, with a 4.6 magnitude aftershock hitting at 1.52 am (22.52pm GMT).The tsunami waves hit minutes after the main quake. The sea level in Bodrum dropped by almost a foot before water surges back in two powerful waves, cascading through the resorts and flooding buildings. Footage showed cars lifted up and carried away by torrents.
The area surrounding Turkey is prone to earthquakes because it is located between Arabian plate and Eurasian plate.This year alone, Turkey’s western Aegean coast was hit by several significant earthquakes, which brought back memories of past deadly earthquakes.In June, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake gutted a village on Greek island of Lesbos, killing a woman and leaving more than 15 injured. The quake also caused panic on Turkey’s Aegean coast.On August 17, 1999, a huge earthquake measuring more than 7.0 magnitude near the city of Izmit devastated vast areas in the country’s densely populated northwestern zone, notably around Istanbul, killing over 17,000 people.