Foreign Ministry: No Israelis Missing or Injured in Greek Islands Earthquake

YERUSHALAYIM -
A cafe is littered with rubble following a strong earthquake on the Greek island of Kos early Friday. (Sander van Deventer via AP)

No Israelis are missing or have been hurt in an earthquake that struck off the coasts of Greece and Turkey early Friday, the Foreign Ministry said. News agencies reported that at least two people had been killed and 200 injured in the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck off the Aegean coast of Turkey, with the Greek island of Kos – a popular resort for Israelis – worst hit. The main quake was followed by several smaller ones measuring 4.7 and 5 on the Richter scale, and several smaller tremors were felt throughout Friday morning, officials said.

According to the reports, many buildings had been damaged, and there was a great deal of debris on the streets. Several people at a restaurant were crushed when a wall collapsed, and hotels had large amounts of shattered glass in halls and lobbies, with power and water not operating.

Israelis who contacted the Foreign Ministry reported that they were largely safe, although shaken up. One couple told the 0404 news site that Israeli tourists, like everyone else, had been required to evacuate their rooms until the safety of structures could be ascertained, and that they had no idea where they were supposed to go, as hotel staff were as confused as they were.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that it was “examining ways to help Israelis stranded on Kos. Numerous Israelis have asked for help getting home, and we are working on ways to accomplish that.” Anyone who is scheduled to take a vacation in Kos in the coming weeks is urged to reconsider their plans, the Ministry added, and to check their schedules if they are supposed to fly there in the coming days, as the airport there was “under a great deal of pressure.”