Wakefield couple fled apartments and then airport as earthquake struck holiday island

A couple have described how they were forced to flee their apartment block and then the airport after a powerful earthquake struck a Greek holiday island.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27th July 2017, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:25 pm

James Taylor and his partner Vicky I’Anson were on the island of Kos when the tremor, measuring a strong 6.7 on the Richter scale, began in the early hours of last Friday morning.

The epicentre was under the sea between the holiday island and the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Two people were killed in Kos after a wall collapsed on top of them, and hundreds were left injured.

James and Vicky, both 33 from Ryhill, were almost at the end of their two-week holiday and were asleep at the time.

James, a civil servant for the DWP, said: “We were awoken by the beds shaking.

“The quake only lasted a few seconds, but felt very powerful.

“I didn’t have a clue what it was. We had been to the volcano on a neighbouring island the previous day and it went through my mind that it may have erupted.

“We were advised by the hotel owner to get out of the hotel immediately, in case of damage to the building and injury.

“We were both very scared, the owner said that his dad was 84 and he never felt one as strong as that.”

Like thousands of other holidaymakers, they spent the night sleeping in the open, next to the apartment pool on sun loungers as further aftershocks continued to strike the island.

“Many were felt throughout the night and the following day,” added James.

“One of these hit while we were in the airport waiting to board our flight home that day.

“This led to everybody leaving the airport building and standing beside the runway for safety.

“We were very pleased to get home as the aftershock in the airport shook us up even more.”

However, the pair say it won’t put them off returning to the Greek island again.