We’ll be better prepared next time – ministry

Sweden's foreign ministry has said it will be better prepared next time Swedes are involved in a disaster abroad than it was during the tsunami disaster.

The foreign ministry, and particularly foriegn minister Laila Freivalds, faced widespread criticism for their handling of last year’s tsunami, in which 500 Swedes died. The ministry has therefore announced a range of measures to improve its response to disasters.

These include founding a 35-strong disaster recovery unit, which will be able to help out at consulates abroad during any potential disaster.

Fast relief teams with members from embassies will be deployed around the globe and recovery contact points will be put in place in about twenty Swedish consulates.

The Emergency Service and Rescue Service Authorities will help the units with planning how to deal with a crisis at any level. There will be better telephone exchange systems and the minstry will improve collaboration with the travel industry and with the governments of the other Nordic and EU countries.


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.