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Earthquake rocks Kos and Turkish holiday resorts killing tourists

Two tourists have been killed after a powerful earthquake struck the holiday island of Kos, Greek authorities said.

Fire officials told state television that the victims, men from Turkey and Sweden, had been identified but gave no further details.

They died after a wall collapsed on to a bar in the Old Town of the island's main port, a spokesman said.

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More than 120 people were injured when the 6.5-magnitude quake struck at about 1.30am local time on Friday.

Rescue workers said the damage was confined to the island's main town in the form of cracks, smashed windows and wrecked shops.

Fire service rescue chief Stephanos Kolokouris said a search of dozens of villages and other sites on the island found no residents trapped in their homes.

"We are operating in the main town, and will remain there," he said. "We conducted a very extensive search of other areas where people are living and fortunately there was no serious problem."

Kos mayor Giorgos Kyritsis told state media: "The buildings affected were mostly old, and were built before the earthquake building codes were introduced."

He said the army was mobilised along with emergency services. The island's port was among structures that were damaged and a ferry heading there was not docking, the coastguard said.

Witnesses on Kos described the sea "swelling" after the quake caused a local tsunami.

It flooded a seafront road and parts of the main town. A boat was pushed on to the main road and several cars slammed into each other because of the rising seawater.

Kos regional government official Giorgos Halkidios said the injured included people who were underneath a building that collapsed.

Ferry services were suspended due to damage at the main port, where a 14th-century fortress and a minaret from an old mosque were also damaged.

Greek officials said the quake was 6.5-magnitude. It was centred six miles south of Bodrum, Turkey, and 10 miles east-north-east of Kos, with a depth of six miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Turkish disaster officials said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3, and more than 20 aftershocks have been recorded.

Esengul Civelek, governor of Turkey's Mugla province, said there were no casualties there, according to initial assessments. She said: "There were minor injuries due to fear and panic."


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From Belfast Telegraph