By Caroline Haga, IFRC

Red Cross and Red Crescent teams are providing emergency support throughout the night on the island of Kos and the Turkish coastal city of Bodrum after a powerful earthquake leaves two people dead and hundreds injured.

On the night of 20 July, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the Mugla province of Turkey close to Bodrum and 16 kilometres from Kos. On Kos, the quake damaged old buildings, a mosque and the port located close to many cafes and bars. Two casualties were confirmed and more than 100 people injured, some seriously. Across a narrow Aegean Sea waterway in Turkey’s Bodrum, about 70 people were admitted to hospital with minor injuries after attempting to flee the tremor.

“The Hellenic Red Cross and Turkish Red Crescent immediately deployed teams to support those affected by the earthquake,” said Nebojsa Medojevic, IFRC disaster and crisis preparedness delegate in Europe.

“On Kos, Red Cross rescue teams have been working through the night to provide first aid to the many injured, help those without a roof over their heads and search for anyone trapped or injured.”

Hellenic Red Cross teams provided first aid at the island’s overcrowded hospital to support the medical staff and distributed emergency blankets to those forced to sleep rough on the streets for safety reasons. Another team supported the fire brigade until the early morning in the search and rescue efforts. Further teams are on stand-by to assist, also on the nearby island of Rhodes.

The Turkish Red Crescent deployed a response team from Izmir to the affected areas and a further team from Ankara will join them today. Staff and volunteers have distributed water and food to those affected by the quake. Red Crescent teams are also conducting a damage assessment together with the authorities.

This was the second strong earthquake in region this year after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Lesvos on 12 June.