Strong Aftershocks Test Nerves on Greek Island After Qu…

KOS, Greece — Crews of experts began examining the damage to cultural monuments and infrastructure on the eastern Greek island of Kos on Saturday, a day after a powerful earthquake killed two tourists and injured nearly 500 others in the Aegean Sea region that stretches to Turkey’s sprawling coast.

Residents and tourists were still jittery as a series of aftershocks Saturday night continued to rock the island. A tremor measuring a preliminary 4.4 magnitude struck at 8:09 p.m. (1709 GMT) Saturday, sending residents and restaurant customers scurrying toward the middle of the town’s main square, as far away as possible from buildings.

Sixteen minutes later, a second 4.6-magnitude tremor struck, the Athens Geodynamics Institute reported. The first tremor had its epicenter only 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) northeast of Kos at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Hundreds of residents and tourists spent Friday night sleeping outdoors on the island, too afraid to return to their homes or hotels after the quake that struck early Friday. Many camped out in parks and olive groves, or slept in their cars or on beach and swimming pool lounge chairs.

The aftershocks Saturday night meant that many would spend a second night outdoors.

During the day in Kos, churches, an old mosque, the port’s 14th-century castle and other old buildings that suffered in the quake were being checked by archaeologists and experts from Greece’s Culture Ministry.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake Friday at magnitude 6.7, with Greek and Turkish estimates a fraction lower. Two men, a Turk and a Swede, were killed when a wall collapsed into a popular bar in the Old Town of Kos.

The most seriously injured in Greece were airlifted to hospitals on the mainland and the southern island of Crete, and at least two were still in critical condition Saturday.




Image: Two deaths from earthquake-related damage on island of Kos

A man looks at a car crushed under rubble near the port, following an earthquake on the island of Kos, Greece, on July 22, 2017.