Tsunami warning signs ‘terrorise’ tourists on Greek island


tsunami warning tsunami warning Kos tsunami warning

Newly installed electronic tsunami alert signs on the island of Kos have come under fire by the president of Kos' hoteliers union Dina Svynou, claiming the signs  are “terrorizing” tourists and should be immediately removed.

“It's unacceptable to place such signs warning of a possible tsunami risk in the centre of the island, on its port, where dozens or visitors walk through, especially when there is no reason to do so, as scientists have assured us,” complained Svynou  during an interview with state-run broadcaster ERT where she called for the signs to be removed.

Kos became the first Greek island to install the warning system, which was a joint project of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and the Hellenic National Tsunami Warning Centre (HL-NTWC), which is a particular unit of the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens (NTWHL-NTWC  L-NTWC). 

Despite its detractors, planning authorities praised the initiative as a necessary safety mechanism given the country’s history of earthquakes. In July 2017, a small scale tsunami of 1.5 metres height was triggered on the island following a destructive 6.6 magnitude earthquake which killed two tourists and injured dozens.

“There is a possibility of a tsunami in Kos [in case of an earthquake,” Efthimios Lekkas, head of Greece’s Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization and director of the Geology and Geo-environment Faculty at Athens University, told Open TV channel on Friday, adding that "we must not hide the problems under the carpet, because it could costs lives.”