Greece: Quake kills 2, sends island tourists into panic

By AP July 21,2017

Debris sits on the damaged mosque after an earthquake in Kos on the island of Kos, Greece, Friday.

ATHENS, Greece — A powerful earthquake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island of Kos and struck panic on the nearby shores of Turkey early Friday, killing two people and injuring more than a hundred.

Rescue authorities said two men from Turkey and Sweden died in the collapse as the 6.5-magnitude quake about 1:30 a.m. Friday rattled Greek islands and the Turkish Aegean coast in a region where quakes are common.

The dead vacationers were not named.

At least five other people were seriously injured on Kos as tourists and local residents scrambled out of buildings, some even leaping from balconies. Five of the injured were being transported by helicopter to a hospital on the island of Crete, officials said.

“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,” Christopher Hackland, a Scottish diving instructor, 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.”

Tens of thousands of tourists spent the night outdoors on Kos, many sleeping on sunbeds along beaches as a quake-related sea swell subsided. The quake damaged churches, an old mosque and the port’s 14th-century castle, along with old buildings in the town.

In nearby Turkey, ensuing panic caused minor injuries, according to Esengul Civelek, governor of Mugla province. /AP

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