Earthquake shakes southern Sweden

Southern Sweden was rocked by an earthquake early on Tuesday morning which caused a flood of phone calls to emergency services operators from alarmed residents.

Earthquake shakes southern Sweden
CIA World Factbook/Google Maps

“The bed shook for about 20 seconds,” Helsingborg resident John O’Leary told The Local.

O’Leary said the quake woke him at about 6:20am and that the shaking knocked over several items in his apartment.

Uppsala University seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson estimated the quake measured between 4.5 and 5.0 on the Richter scale.

“It was likely felt in much of southern Sweden. For Sweden, this is a very strong quake,” Bödvarsson told the TT news agency.

Seismologists in Sweden estimate the quake’s epicentre was located 18 kilometres underground, beneath a point about one kilometre east from Malmö’s Sturup Airport, located about 30 kilometres east of the city.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake had a magnitude of 4.7, which would make it the strongest earthquake to hit Sweden in more than 100 years.

Back on October 23rd, 1904, an earthquake with an epicentre near the Koster Islands off Sweden’s west coast reached a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale.

Much of the Baltic region, including southern Sweden, was rattled in 2004 by a 5.3 magnitude quake with its epicentre in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the south shores of the Baltic Sea.

Tuesday’s tremor was felt primarily by residents in Skåne. People living in Malmö reported feeling strong tremors and buildings throughout the city shook.

“It’s not dangerous for people, but there certainly may be some cracking in the facades of buildings,” said Bödvarsson.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” said Tina Morris, who resides in Skurup, about 40 kilometres south east of Malmö.

“The roar of the quake was horrible, but it was the bed shaking that woke me up. I could hear the plates and glass rattling downstairs.”

Residents in Blekinge, just east of Skåne, also reported feeling the ground shake beneath them.

Danish news agency Ritzau also reported that the tremor was felt in Copenhagen and other parts of northern Själland in Denmark.


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.