Transportation to and from the island of Kos is at 90 percent through the airport, Athens News Agency reported on Friday after the earthquake 6.6R caused serious damage at the port of the island. Smaller boats transfer passengers from and to Kos via the islands of Kalymnos and Nissyros, which are some +/- 60 minutes sail time away from Kos.
After security checks in and outside the airport and the runway, airport manager Fraport Greece opened the facilities to passengers and traffic.
Some flights had to be canceled and others were delayed in the early morning until the security checks were concluded. Minor material damages were recorded in the shops of the airport.
According to the airport management, minor flight delays are been recorded. They are expected to gradually normalize during the day.
Fraport is urging passengers to check with airlines and tour operators about possible changes in scheduled flights.
Airport personnel reportedly distributed water and food to tourists awaiting to catch a delayed flight.
The infrastructure on the island is functional and the only problems are limited to the port, the mayor of Kos Giorgos Kyritsis told Athens Macedonian News Agency.
The port has sustained serious damages and will need restoration while the water, electricity and road network operate without any problems, he said.
Authorities are struggling to conclude with the evaluation of the damages at the port and to start restoring the damages as soon as possible. Hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists use the port facilities and the attached marina especially in the summer months.
Currently, transportation via the seaway is done through the nearby islands of Kalymnos and Nisyros and the smaller ports of Kefalos and Mastichari on the earthquake-ridden Kos.
Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios said that he has ordered increase of sea traffic between Kalymnos and Mastichari on Kos. He added that a Schengen gate has been set up in DEH area to service departure to and arrivals from Turkey. The port of Kefalos will be used as the island’s major port for as long as it takes, the minister said.
Authorities want to avoid in any case that that the island is been isolated on the seaway amid the peak of the tourist season.
Greek media reported that the sea traffic from and to Nisyros is done via the light open ferry boats, Greeks call “slippers” due to their forms.
There are no problems regarding the hotels on Kos following the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the island on Friday, according to the president of the Hoteliers Association of Kos, Konstantina Svynou.
“The tourists on the island are facing the situation calmly,” Svinou told media, adding that currently Kos is hosting some 200,000 holidaymakers.
Svinou also informed the press that only few tourists are considering cutting their vacation short and departing from the island following the earthquake. Meanwhile, there have not been many phone calls from customers that were planning to travel to the destination in the coming days and now want to cancel their trip.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stressed the necessity to return to normality and avert “exaggeration and dramatization.” He expresses deepest sorrow for the victims of the fatal earthquake and conveyed his wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called PM Tsipras and offered post-earthquake aid.
UK tabloids could not resist the challenge and headlined
Daily StarVerified account @Daily_Star 34m34 minutes ago
Holiday travel CHAOS: Brits stranded at airport after earthquake #Kos #kosearthquake #turkey #turkeyearthquake http://bit.ly/2vHU2YQ
To go the safe way: always ask tour operators, travel agencies, airlines and port authorities.