BRITISH holidaymakers are facing travel disruption at the busiest time of the year after a powerful earthquake off the Greek islands and Turkey killed two people, the Government has warned.
Two men, from Sweden and Turkey, died on the Greek island of Kos, while around 200 other people were injured in the quake which also caused cracks to walls and flooding in some buildings in the Turkish resort of Bodrum.
Tourists had to flee their hotel rooms when the tremor, said to have been up to a magnitude of 6.7, struck at around 1.30am, and was followed by aftershocks throughout the night.
There have been no reports of any injuries to British holidaymakers, said Abta, but some tourists spoke of their shock after experiencing the earthquake.
Lauren Duffy, 20, from Merseyside, said glass and broken pieces of marble statues were among the debris strewn near her hotel, a short drive from Kos’s Old Town.
The University of Chester student said: “We were woken up by really aggressive shaking. We didn’t know what it was. You couldn’t find your balance. It was just a scary situation.”
Naomi Ruddock, who is on holiday in Kos with her mother Eleanor, said a staff member told her it was the worst earthquake the area had seen.
The 22-year-old, from London, said: “We were asleep and we just felt the room shaking. The room moved. Literally everything was moving. And it kind of felt like you were on a boat and it was swaying really fast from side to side, you felt seasick.”
The quake came as millions of British holidaymakers are expected to head overseas for their summer holidays and air traffic controllers are dealing with the busiest day in UK aviation history.
Abta said Kos Airport has reopened, but warned of delays, and advised visitors to the affected areas to follow the advice of their travel provider, local authorities and the Foreign Office.
A statement from the travel trade organisation said: “Customers imminently due to travel to this region will be contacted by their tour operator, should it be necessary to discuss changes to their holiday arrangements.”
The Government’s latest guidance for travellers to Greece warns: “Flights and ferry services are being significantly disrupted as a result of the earthquake. Please contact your airline, ferry company or tour operator for updates to services.”
Travellers to Turkey are being advised: “There may be disruption to ferry and flight services as a result of the earthquake.”
The Foreign Office also instructs visitors to Greece and Turkey to “be aware of the possibility of aftershocks.”
Travel agent Thomas Cook said all of its 2,682 British customers in Kos and 441 in Bodrum are accounted for.
A statement said: “Our teams in the resort areas affected by the earthquake and in our customer centres are supporting customers currently on holiday in the region. We have no reports of any injuries and there is little impact on our hotels.”