Kos earthquake: 8,000 British tourists on island as strong quake rocks resorts in Greece and Turkey

As aftershocks continue, tourists reported to be gathered outside their hotels

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 21 July 2017 11:55
Two dead, 120 injured, as large quake hits Kos

Around 8,000 British holidaymakers are believed to have been on the island of Kos when the earthquake struck, including about 200 who had just arrived on a Thomas Cook flight from Birmingham.

No other flights to and from Britain are expected today, but Saturday is normally a busy day for flights.

The airport, which is towards the far end of the island from where the earthquake struck, is believed to be open, but flights are disrupted as airlines assess the situation. Eurocontrol is reporting "very high flight delay at Kos".

This summer 30 flights are scheduled each week between then UK and Kos. Eleven are from Gatwick, nine from Manchester, three from Stansted and others from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds/Bradford and Newcastle. Between them they fly around 6,000 British tourists in and out each week.

Shortly after the earthquake, the Foreign Office 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.”

In the Dodecanese island group, Kos is second only to Rhodes for popularity with holidaymakers — especially British, Germans and Dutch tourists.

The island is just three miles from Turkey at the closest point, and near the Turkish resort of Bodrum.

The Mark Warner organisation has one of its leading properties on Kos, the Lakitira Beach Resort.

Cultural highlights on the island include Asklepion, the temple to Hippocrates — the father of medicine.

An Irish holidaymaker, Helen Thomas, tweeted: “Staying at Oceanis in #kos - the aftermath of the #earthquake is still unclear as aftershocks continue. Been outside since 1.30am.” She added a photograph of guests gathered in the open.

Leith Williams tweeted: “Aftershocks still going on here in Kos. Wondering if there is a big wave coming. How long does it take?”

Last month an earthquake struck the Greek island of Lesbos, which is also near the Turkish coast. One woman was killed and at least 10 were injured.

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