Israelis holidaying on the Greek island of Kos were shaken by a massive earthquake Friday which killed two tourists, left over 300 hurt across the region and sparked fears of a tsunami.
“People left the hotels and began looking for open areas to get away from the beach,” Margalit Keren, who was staying on a yacht in Kos with her husband, told Channel 2 news on Friday.
“We were fast asleep when we felt the sea rise up and hit hard on the side of the yacht,” she said. “Along the wharf all the boats collided with each other and a yacht moored next to us snapped its ropes and started to float away. The water fell by half a meter in height.”
“People came running out of the hotels and searched for open spaces away from the shore,” she added. “There were dozens of aftershocks.”
Another Israeli tourist, Chaim, told the news channel of the chaos on the island.
“I opened my eyes because of the noise and I saw everything moving around the room,” he said. “I grabbed my wife and daughters and ran out — only then did I realize the enormity of the chaos. We still feel the earth shaking now with aftershocks.”
Chaim added that there were lots of Israelis on the island who all wanted to return to Israel, but were unable to get in touch with the Israeli embassy.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that there were about 600 Israelis on the island but none were reported missing following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake which shook the popular summer resort holiday destinations of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece and the Aegean coast of Turkey.
The ministry warned travelers to avoid going to Kos in the immediate future due to the risk of aftershocks and the chaos at the airport. Reports said that the airport is overwhelmed with tourists trying to fly off the island.
Agencies contributed to this report.