The earth moved . .

Having so far had a fantastic time in Kos, the fates had not forgotten our unusual stroke of luck earlier in the holiday and were about to pay us back – big style!

In the early hours of Friday 21 July Kos and the surrounding area was rudely and terrifyingly awoken by a 6.5 earthquake.

Never having experienced anything like it before it is hard to grasp what on earth is happening. It was pitch black and I had been dreaming that I was being violently shaken by the shoulders.

For the first few seconds it was hard to tell if I was still asleep or not, as I gradually realised that the bed was literally moving from side to side as if we were on a bucking bronco. In the dark I could just make out the room’s ornate chandelier swaying wildly back and forth.

Then the shouts and screams started and that is when I woke the man – by screaming myself! I had until that point always wondered how I would react in a crisis . . now i know that I wail like a girl . . .

After taking a look outside the man prepared to go back to bed, I however was not convinced as our room was almost underground and we didn’t know if it would happen again.

However the decision was taken out of our hands as we stated to hear the hotel staff shouting for everyone to get out of their rooms immediately.

For a while we sat in shock near the pool, gallons of which had slopped out over the poolside lounger area.

In the end we were allowed to go back to our rooms but I refused to sleep there, inside we, and many others, grabbed our duvets and dragged sun loungers to the tennis courts, the most open area of the hotel and away from any buildings that could potentially come crashing down.


The day after we ventured into Kos town, one of the places worst hit by the earthquake and only ten minutes from our hotel.

Tragically two people died in the town after a nightclub roof collapsed on people.

The damage is all too clear to see. From the huge cracks in the pavements to the harbour side which had actually ripped away from the surrounding walkway.

As we venture further into the old part of the town the damage is even more apparent.

The beautiful mosque that we had visited earlier in the week suffered huge damage with its minaret toppled to the ground.


The ancient dome where Hippocrates sat to teach his students has also been extensively damaged.

Apparently the damage was actually far less than usually expected for a quake of that size.

The US Geological Survey said it was a very shallow quake – the focus was only six miles (10km) below the seabed – off Marmaris in Muğla province, Turkey.

To put it in context, a smaller, 5.9-magnitude quake in 1999 tragically killed 143 people in Greece.

But even if we got off lightly, seeing the floor literally split open, and feeling the ground beneath your feet buckling and rolling is a horrible feeling.

There were over 100 aftershocks in the following days, even as we were eating a meal the evening after you could feel the rumbling and the earth shifting under your chair.

I was quite glad that we only had one night left as I was wary of going back into the room.

Indeed for several days after, even when safely home, if the man turned over in bed or made any move my heart would start racing as if the movement heralded another quake.

Published by Derbyshire Gal

World traveller, proud auntie, bit of a liability.

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