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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Greece And Turkey

A man walks near a damaged building after an earthquake struck near the Greek island of Kos early Friday.

At least two people were killed by a strong earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey in the early morning hours Friday, sending thousands of panicked vacationers and locals streaming outside.

Hundreds of people were wounded across the region as buildings rattled and shook. Some people leaped from balconies and many others sustained light injuries while fleeing their homes, reports The Associated Press.

The two men who died were on the Greek island of Kos when the bar they were in collapsed on top of them. It is peak tourist season on the resort island, and the men were visiting from Sweden and Turkey, reports Reuters, citing local police.

On Kos alone, more than 100 people were injured, a dozen seriously, including a Swedish tourist who lost a leg.

"All of a sudden it felt like a train was going right through the room," Vernon Hausman, a German tourist, told Reuters.

The magnitude 6.7 quake struck about 6 miles from Bodrum, Turkey, near the southwestern tip of the country and close to the famed Greek Isles beloved by tourists, according to the United States Geological Survey. It hit around 1:30 a.m. local time and was followed by several aftershocks .

Many people spent the night trying to sleep outdoors. Some travelers rushed to the airport on Kos, only to find flights had been canceled Friday.

The USGS puts the depth of the quake at or about 6 miles, a relatively shallow level that contributed to the widespread damage, says AP. A small tsunami also struck, scattering cars and boats across the Aegean Sea coastline, says Reuters.

The region is prone to earthquakes, owing to its location between shifting plates, reports The Telegraph.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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