A strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea has killed at least two people on the Greek island of Kos, officials say. The deaths were confirmed to the Athens News Agency by the island’s Mayor, George Kyritsis.
The 6.4-magnitude quake hit 12km north-east of Kos, near the Turkish coast, between Kos and the island of Rhodes with a depth of 8km at 1.30am on Friday. According to the Euro-Mediterranean Institute, three strong aftershocks of 4.6, 4.5 and 4.7 magnitude at a distance of less than 10 km from the Turkish coastline hit.
At least 100 others were injured on Kos, a popular tourist destination. Some buildings were damaged, including the main Church. A few minutes after the deadly tremor a second earthquake of 5.1 magnitude 26 km north of Leros struck, at the same depth.
Pictures on social media showed people in the city walking with water lapping their ankles and localised flooding, and about 70 people sought hospital treatment for minor injuries.
Turkey and Greece sit on significant fault lines and are regularly hit by earthquakes. The Blue Star Paros passenger ferry was unable to arrive at the island’s port and sailed on to Nisyros, Tilos, Symi, Rhodes and Kastelorizo.
One of the deadliest in recent years hit the heavily populated northwest of Turkey, in 1999, killing some 17,000 people.