At least two dead following Aegean earthquake

The Department of Foreign Affairs does not believe any Irish people were caught up in the quake

At least two dead following Aegean earthquake

A cafe setting is littered with rubble following a strong earthquake on the Greek island of Kos early Friday, 21-07-2017. Image: Sander van Deventer/AP.

Updated 12:00

At least two people have been killed and more than 120 injured after a powerful earthquake hit a Greek resort - popular with Irish tourists.

The 6.7 magnitude quake struck 16.2km east of the island of Kos while people were sleeping, causing several buildings to collapse.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said there are no indications that any Irish people were caught up in the earthquake.

It said that any Irish citizens in the area should make contact with their families - and follow the advice of local authorities.

The Irish Embassy in Athens is "actively monitoring" the situation and anyone with concerns is asked to contact them.

Approximately 70 people were taken to hospital in the neighbouring Turkish resort of Bodrum as they were injured trying to escape.

The quake was just 9.6km deep - according to the US Geological Survey - and dozens of aftershocks have been reported.

Damage

Kos officials said there were cracks in buildings, smashed windows and damaged shops.

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

The army has been called on to help emergency services, he added.

Of those injured, two or three are in a serious condition and undergoing surgery, regional officials said.

Christopher Hackland, who has been working as a diving instructor in Kos for the last two months, described what happened as the earthquake struck:

“There was sort of pots pans plates and things being thrown around the kitchen,” he said. “The light was swinging and crashing off the ceiling.”

“It was also quite hard to walk, it was like we were very, very, very dizzy so it was quite a scary moment.”

Damage after an earthquake on the Greek island of Kos, 21-07-2017. Image:  Uncredited/AP/Press Association Images

Lauren Duffy, a 20-year-old student from Liverpool, was evacuated along with her mother and sister from the Atlantis Hotel, which was strewn with shattered glass.

She told the Associated Press: "We were asleep in our hotel room when we were woken by really violent shaking, and we all were screaming and told to evacuate from the hotel."

Greece and Turkey lie in an especially earthquake-prone zone and have felt several tremors in recent weeks.

Anyone with serious concerns for Irish citizens in the area can call +353 1 408 2527.

Additional reporting IRN ...