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EARTHQUAKE

Sweden issues Japan travel warning

The Swedish foreign ministry has advised against "non-essential" travel to the earthquake-hit areas of Japan.

Sweden issues Japan travel warning

The foreign ministry issued a statement on its web page on Sunday which warned against “non-essential travel to the stricken areas (prefectures) Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki”.

According to the latest available information no Swedes were killed or injured in the disaster which Japan’s Pacific coast.

“We have managed to make contact with all the Swedes in the affected areas as we know it themselves or through relatives,” Tobias Nilsson at the ministry’s press office, although he stressed that information remained preliminary.

The Swedish embassy in Tokyo continues to work the available contacts to obtain information about the situation in the disaster areas, and staff there are also trying to find out if there are problems with, for example, supplies and water and the measures undertaken by the Japanese authorities.

As a result of the ongoing problems at Japanese nuclear power plants in the disaster area, Sweden’s Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten – SSM) will keep its switchboard open until 6pm on Sunday to answer questions from the general public.

The authority urged anyone who may currently be located in the area to follow the advice of the Japanese authorities.

Ulf Melin, Swedish residents Nishiazabu in central Tokyo, says that authorities are now urging residents in the capital to save on electricity. The house in which he lives is still being rocked by aftershocks. Japan is a country that is partly in shock, but he said that the atmosphere remained difficult to accurately explain.

“It’s an incredibly difficult question. We have concentrated on how we and my colleagues are doing. Fortunately, no one injured, but we also try to support those who have relatives who are affected,” he said.

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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.