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EARTHQUAKE

Sweden’s tsunami death toll reaches 428

Police on Thursday said the number of Swedes confirmed dead after the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in December had reached 428.

The total number of those killed or missing remained unchanged at 544, police said in a statement.

The tsunami, spawned by a massive earthquake off Indonesia, struck countries around the Indian Ocean on December 26, killing an estimated 217,000 people.

As many as 20,000 Swedes were vacationing in the area, mainly in Khao Lak in Thailand, at the time, and the number of the Scandinavian country’s nationals missing was initially feared to be as high as 3,500.

Sweden with its nine million inhabitants remains one of the countries outside of Asia with the highest per capita death toll.

Also on Thursday, police said Swedish ophthalmology professor Bertil Lindblom had taken over as head of DNA identification at the Thai Tsunami Victim Identification centre near Phuket.

AFP

EARTHQUAKE

Swede dies in earthquake in Greece and Turkey

A Swedish man was one of the people killed when a violent earthquake hit Greek island Kos, Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed.

Swede dies in earthquake in Greece and Turkey
Rubble sitting outside the bar damaged by an earthquake in Kos, Greece. Photo: Michael Probst/AP

A second person killed was named as Turkish national Sinan Kurdoglu by Turkey's deputy prime minister, according to news agency the Associated Press. The men died when the roof of a bar collapsed in Kos, The Guardian reports.

The 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Greek island and Turkish tourist resort Bodrum in the early hours of Friday. Greek officials said around 200 people were injured, at least 120 on Kos and 70 in Turkey. Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed that Swedes are among the injured.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at around 1.30am local time, was 10 kilometres south of Bodrum and 16 kilometres north-east of Kos which was the worst hit, reports The Guardian.


A toppled column in Kos after the earthquake. Photo: Michael Probst/AP

“I'm still in shock,” Isak Bergh from Västerås told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, explaining that paintings and mirrors fell from the walls of the hotel he was in and the power was lost.

Another reader described the scene at Rhodes airport.

“I laid on the floor and started to shake around,” Brian Ramirez explained.