Travel alert for Turkey and Greece - Earthquake in the Aegean Sea

21 Jul 2017

Damage has been reported in and around Bodrum, Turkey, and Kos, Greece, after a magnitude-6.7 earthquake occurred in Gulf of Gokova in the southeastern Aegean Sea at 0131 TRT/EEST July 21. The epicenter was 10 km (6.2 miles) south-southeast of Bodrum and 16 km (10 miles) northeast of Kos. The quake occurred at a shallow depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), and it produced a minor tsunami that flooded seaside hotels and streets in Bodrum and Kos. Many buildings were also damaged, and several fatalities had been confirmed as of 0400. Quake-related fires, landslides, and widespread power cuts were also reported in Bodrum. No serious damage has been reported in Marmaris. More thorough disaster assessments are unlikely until after sunrise on July 21, although initial reports suggest that some of the most serious damage may have occurred on Kos. Casualty numbers will likely increase. 

As of early July 21, a tsunami advisory remained in effect for Aegean coastal areas close to the epicenter; the tsunami event could last for several hours, although peak wave heights probably occurred in Bodrum, Kos, and nearby areas shortly after the quake struck. Automated sensors recorded a sea level rise of about 10 cm (4 inches) in Bodrum, but local geography and undersea topography could have moderately amplified wave heights in specific areas. 

Airports serving Bodrum (BJV), Marmaris (DLM), and Greek Islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea (SMI, JIK, JKL, LRS, KGS, RHO) will need to be checked for damage. Some morning flight disruptions are possible if this does not occur immediately; at least one inbound flight scheduled to land at Kos Airport (KGS) before 0500 diverted to Iraklion, Crete. Both Kos and Bodrum are major tourist destinations, and airlines and tour operators could organize extra flights to evacuate holidaymakers - particularly on Kos. Protracted transport disruptions are possible if significant infrastructure damage occurred or if debris must be cleared from roadways. 

As of 0400, several dozen moderate aftershocks had occurred, and more can be expected for at least several days. Stronger tremors could cause additional damage. 

If you require assistance, please contact Campus Travel or Chubb Insurance Assistance.

Campus Travel

Number: +61 7 3393 8855 (calls from overseas)

Number: 1300 662 703 (calls from within Australia)

Chubb Insurance Assistance

Chubb Assistance phone +61 2 8907 5995 and quote UQ policy number 01PP529201. Reverse phone charge is available.