Belfast Telegraph

Former Derry MLA Pat Ramsey caught up in Turkey earthquake

Former SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey has confirmed he is safe after being caught up in a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that has impacted areas of Greece and Turkey after hitting the holiday island of Kos.

On the island around 115 people were injured, including a number of tourists, with two people killed after the roof of a bar collapsed.

Mr Ramsey, who represented the Foyle constituency until 2015, had been on holiday in the Altinkum area of Turkey, a resort town on the Aegean Sea.

On his Facebook page, where he is followed by almost 5,000 people thanks to the frequent lost-and-found community notices he posts, he wrote: "A small earth quake [sic] occurred just a few minutes ago, in Altinkum Turkey our apartment block shook, and I was fast asleep, Aine said that the furniture moved, everyone safe thank God."

A small earth quake occured just a few minutes ago, in Altinkum Turkey our apartment block shook, and I was fast asleep , Aine said the furniture moved, everyone safe thank God.

Posted by Pat Ramsey on Thursday, July 20, 2017

Speaking on BBC Radio Foyle's The Mark Patterson Show, Mr Ramsey said that he became aware something was going one when he was awakened by his daughter Aine at around 1.30am.

"She was obviously frightened and upset. At that stage clearly something was happening, there were rumblings. The ceiling lights were blowing everywhere," he said.

Shortly after being awoken, friends of his - also from Londonderry - arrived at his door "visibly shaking" having felt more dramatic movement from the earthquake on a higher floor.

"Then there was a voluntary evacuation of the complex," Mr Ramsey said.

"For good reason because it was suspected that there was something else going to happen. A further tremor or an aftershock."

Describing the scene outside in the street, he said that there were "literally hundreds of people out of their apartments" and that a number of people had moved furniture outside so that they could sleep in the open air.

It was estimated that besides Mr Ramsey and his family, there were around a further 12 people from Derry staying in the resort, which is a one-hour boat journey from Kos.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised anyone staying in the affected area to contact their friends and family to tell them that they are safe.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has said that currently there is no indication that any Irish people have been caught up in the earthquake.

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