Is it safe to travel to Turkey and Kos following the 5.3 magnitude earthquake in Bodrum?

Is it safe to travel to Turkey and Kos following the 5.3 magnitude earthquake in Bodrum?

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 has struck near to the Turkish resort of Bodrum just weeks after another left two dead and hundreds injured.

The quake struck 15km southeast of Bodrum, at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.

Terrified holidaymakers have spoken of their fear at being woken by the tremors which have been felt on the neighbouring Greek island of Kos too.

What has happened?

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck near the popular holiday resort of Bodrum in Turkey, the US Geological Survey has reported.

The quake struck 15km southeast of the Aegean coastal town of Bodrum, at a depth of 10km.

According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency, the earthquake, which struck just before 11am local time, had a preliminary magnitude of 4.9.

Residents of Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city have reported to have felt light tremors from the earthquake.

Is it safe to travel?

There are no direct flights from Newcastle Airport to Bodrum in Turkey, but there are two flights a week to Kos in Greece which is close to Bodrum and was affected by aftershocks and a tsunami following the earthquake last month.

Flights are continuing out of both Kos and Bodrum airport as scheduled.

The Foreign Commonwealth Office has advised it will update it’s advice as the earthquake develops and said: “Any British people in the areas affected should follow the instructions of local authorities.”

What should I do if I am already there?

Follow the advice of local authorities and be prepared in case there are aftershocks following the quake.

Go here for advice about travel to Greece.

If you are heading to Turkey, the FCO’s advice is here .

What do I do if there is an earthquake or aftershocks?

Debris sits on the damaged mosque after an earthquake in Kos on the island of Kos, Greece Friday, July 21, 2017

The Greek authorities have issued the following advice:

Preparing for an earthquake

If you are indoors:

  • Fasten shelves and bookcases to the walls. Remove from the doors tall furniture that could be overturned and block the exit.
  • Screw well fuel and water tanks and heaters to the walls.
  • Place heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Remove heavy objects from above beds and sofas.
  • Fix well all lights and ceiling fans.
  • Locate safe spots in each room of the house. They are under sturdy desks or tables, away from glass surfaces and bookcases and away from exterior walls.
  • Check the correct function of the electric and gas network.
  • Inform family members how to turn off electricity, water, gas and on the emergency numbers (112, 199, 166, 100, etc).
  • Be equipped with a portable radio with batteries, a torch and a first aid kit.

If you are outdoors:


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  • After the earthquake, agree to meet outdoors at a specific place that is safe and away from: buildings and trees; electric and telephone cables.

During an earthquake

If you are indoors:

  • Stay calm.
  • Take cover under sturdy furniture (table, desk), kneel and hold its leg with your hands.
  • If there is no sturdy furniture around, kneel in the middle of the room, lower your height as much as possible and protect your head and nape with your hands. Move away from large glass surfaces (windows, glass dividers), furniture or objects that could injure you.
  • Do not attempt to go out of the house.
  • Do not go out on the balcony.

If you are in a tall building:

  • Move away from glass and exterior walls.
  • If you are in a recreation place, store or mall
  • Stay calm
  • Stay indoors until the earthquake stops.
  • Stay away from the panicked crowd moving disorderly toward the exits because of risk of being trampled.
  • If you are outdoors
  • Move away from buildings, electric or telephone cables.
  • Cover your head with a briefcase or a purse available.

If you are in a moving vehicle:

  • Drive to an open space and stop the car carefully so as not to obstruct traffic.
  • Avoid tunnels, bridges or pedestrian overpasses.

After the earthquake

Debris sits on the damaged mosque after an earthquake in Kos on the island of Kos, Greece Friday, July 21, 2017

If you are inside:

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check if you or anyone around you is injured.
  • Do not move seriously injured persons.
  • Evacuate the building using the stairs (do not use the elevator), after switching off the electricity, gas and water.
  • Go towards an open and safe space.
  • Follow the instructions of the authorities and do not pay attention to rumors.
  • Do not drive unless there is an emergency, so as not to block the work of the rescuers.
  • Use your land line or mobile telephone only in emergency to avoid network overload.
  • Avoid entering your home if you notice damages, gas leakage or any cables destroyed.

In case of a tsunami

If you are close to a seaside with low altitude:

  • Not all earthquakes cause a tsunami. However, when you feel an earthquake, stay alert.
  • Observe if there is a significant rise or fall of the water level. This phenomenon is a physical warning for an oncoming tsunami.
  • After a strong earthquake leave the seashore and go towards mainland areas of higher altitude. A relatively small-sized tsunami at parts of the coastline could be transformed into an extremely dangerous one in a distance of several kilometers.
  • Stay away from seaside areas until you are informed by the competent authorities that the danger is over. A tsunami is not a single wave but a series of waves with different time of arrival at the seashore.
  • Do not approach the shore in order to watch a tsunami coming. When you see the tsunami coming, it will probably be too late to avoid it.