There are at least two people dead and hundreds more injured after a destructive earthquake struck off the Turkish coast overnight, setting off a tsunami that hit tourist resorts in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and busted up buildings all across the region.
The epicenter of the magnitude-6.7 quake that caused so much chaos was off Bodrum, southwest Turkey. This meant that the country’s Aegean coast and Greek holiday islands including Kos and Rhodes were the most effected by the damage that occurred.
People from all around the world who were vacationing in hotels were in a panic as the quake hit before ran for their lives to higher ground as tsunami waves rushed through beachfront resorts moments later, deluging hotels and bars, carrying away cars and depositing boats in town streets as if they were sand sediments.
The two deaths were reported on the island of Kos, with the victims being killed by a collapsed bar ceiling. Parts of a historic mosque in Kos Town also broken up into the street and people helping recover those trapped in the rubble were this morning sifting through the mess looking for any sign of life.
Kos’s mayor said at least 100 people there were injured, including tourists, and the island was also gravely affected by the tsunami.
At least 70 people were let in to hospitals in Bodrum, with many injured in the affright to leave buildings during the earth tremors. Video taken when the quake hit displayed staff and patients at Bodrum State Hospital crouching for cover, while the ravaging caused a large electrical fire to break out in the city after a power pylon exploded when it was knocked down and crashed to the ground.
Tourists were forced to flee their rooms when the quake hit at 1.31am local time (11.31pm BST). They gathered anxiously in the 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 said he felt the building he was in ‘shake like a jelly’. The 48-year-old said he had just gone to bed when the quake struck at around 1.30am local time.
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.
The 21-year-old from Canterbury in Kent was just about to end her vacation in Altinkum, around 500 miles away from Bodrum. She explained what happened:
‘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.’