A couple from Blyth have described their terror following an earthquake on the Greek island of Kos last week.
Ray and Michelle Gibb were on holiday celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary last Thursday, at the Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa Resort, only three miles from Kos town centre, before the earthquake struck in the early hours of Friday morning.
“Michelle and I had been celebrating only hours earlier,” said Ray. “I was awoken at 1.30am by a low rumbling noise which quickly built into a deafening crescendo and the violent shaking of the building. I mean shaking like it was about to come down on top of us.
“We got outside along with the other guests from our five-storey-high block and waded ankle deep through water from the pool that the quake had sent everywhere.
“We all made our way to the area outside the main entrance where 800 guests were assembling in various states of undress.”
The quake hit the north-east area of the island and reached up to 6.6 on the Richter scale. It was followed by a series of aftershocks which lasted up until Friday evening and reached 4.7, more than half the scale of the original quake.
The couple’s room in the hotel’s third block was badly damaged, with ‘frightening’ cracks lining the walls.
Michelle said their block looked like it had been in ‘a war zone’.
In a Facebook post published shortly after, she wrote: ‘Our room has huge cracks and the balcony is not safe due to unstable plaster above it.
‘The people in the room above us can see daylight through the crack in their room.’
Many guests, Ray and Michelle included, spent the night sleeping on sunbeds under the stars.
They were even joined by the local hotel staff, who had hauled their mattresses outside.
The couple were then relocated to the main building on Saturday, where they felt a bit safer, to stay until returning home last night.
However, the earthquake left Michelle feeling like a ‘bundle of nerves’ for the remainder of the holiday, according to her husband.
He explained: “Every time I turned over in bed and it moved, Michelle would sit bolt upright.
“We will never forget this holiday that is for sure. That deafening roar and ground shaking will live with us for ever.”