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EARTHQUAKE

Two Swedes missing after Samoa tsunami

Two young Swedes are reported to be missing after the tsunami which swept across the South Pacific islands of Samoa on Tuesday evening.

The two Swedes, 24-year-old Christian Karlström, and a 25-year-old woman named only as Catherine, were last heard from on Saturday when they left Morea, north of Tahiti, and were sailing towards New Zealand, according to the newspaper Aftonbladet.

Their parents have informed the foreign ministry of their fears for the safety of the pair.

“The embassy in Canberra is trying to get in contact with them, with help of their contacts in Samoa,” André Mkandawire at the foreign ministry confirmed to the newspaper.

Christian Karlström left his home of Östersund in northern Sweden in April on a year-long sailing trip. He flew to Panama with a 22-year-old friend from Sweden and met up with a Belgian friend and his 12 metre yacht.

They set sail for the South Pacific shortly after arrival in Panama and have been keeping regular phone contact with their families in Sweden since.

Catherine joined the party when they met in the Galapagos islands in June.

But since telephone calls to their respective parents on Saturday nothing has been heard from them.

During the phone call Christian Karlsson told his parents that his friend had switched to another boat. He has since been located safe in Roratonga and has confirmed that he has also been unable to contact either Christian or Catherine.

The parents remain hopeful that the pair have found shelter on one of the islands in the area.

“Of course we are worried, but we think that they are on some island. She said that they were going to the Cook Islands,” Catherine’s father told the newspaper.

The tsunami struck the Samoan islands and Tonga on Tuesday causing widespread destruction and a death toll which currently stands at 149.

The 4.5 metre high tsunami was generated by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake which struck the area at 6.48pm Swedish time.

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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.