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UNHCR saddened at deaths and injuries after earthquake on Kos island

21 July 2017

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today sent condolences and offered help after a strong earthquake left at least two people dead and more than 100 injured on the Greek island of Kos. It caused substantial damage in the port and old quarter of Kos town.

Refugees and migrants staying in the Kos Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) or in UNHCR accommodation on the island are reported safe, estimated at some 810. UNHCR staff has been in contact with the local authorities so as to assess the needs and the scale of damage since the very first hour of the earthquake and has remained at their disposal to support those affected by the natural disaster in any way possible.

All staff from UNHCR and partner organizations are safe after spending the night in their cars or sleeping out in the open, alongside locals, amid continuing aftershocks. The quake, measuring 6.7 on the open-ended Richter scale, struck at around 01.30 in the morning between the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos, near the Turkish coast.

The earthquake comes at the height of the tourism season and just over a month since another quake struck an Aegean island, Lesvos, leaving one local person dead. UNHCR provided some aid to help those affected by that quake.

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