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 >  Dodecanese  >  Kos  >  Kos back to normal after quake

Kos island back to normal after earthquake

- by Andy Cornish

Kos is open for holiday business as normal despite the strong earthquake that hit the island in mid-July.

And to drive home the message the island is staging a raft of tourism promotions to reassure holidaymakers that everything is normal.

A special English edition newspaper 'Greece is Kos' aims to showcase tourism highlights of Kos while a web campaign will push the holiday delights of the south Aegean islands.

South Aegean tourism official Marietta Papavasileiou has been talking to tour operators to reassure them about safety while organising a series of press trips to get some media coverage.

She said: "Kos is a safe and hospitable destination ready to offer its visitors the best of experiences."

Extra promotions can be expected over the winter when most people make their summer season holiday bookings to Greece and the Greek islands.

Tourist officials on Kos report no damage to hotels and tavernas on the island after the quake and no visitors reported any problems getting around or having fun.

Inspections continue on many hotels as a safety precaution and the airport has operated normally. Ferries to the mainland are operating from the port at Kefalos on the south of the island after a tidal wave put the main port of Kos Town out of action.

The powerful earthquake in the Aegean Sea between Kos and Turkey shook the islands and two tourists died when the roof of a bar collapsed in Kos Town.

Around 115 were injured, many of them holidaymakers of various nationalities, when the 6.6 quake struck at around 1.30 am.

The tremor struck at the peak of the holiday season when around 200,000 are on Kos. Fortunately, the damage was confined to a relatively small area of Kos Town.

A tidal wave that followed soon afterwards put the main Kos port out of operation with the wave reported at about 70 cms high. Aftershocks continued for days afterwards with one recorded at 5.1.

But Kos officials stress the island is back to normal with little or no effect on the island's infrastructure and business as usual on the beaches and in the hotels, bars and tavernas.