The island of Kos became the first region of Greece to install electronic signs alerting to a possible tsunami, but a local hotelier association complained the signs are “terrorizing” tourists.
“There is a possibility of a tsunami in Kos [in case of an earthquale],” Efthimios Lekkas, head of Greece’s Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization and director of the Geology and Geoenvironment Faculty at Athens University, told Open TV channel on Friday.
“We must not hide the problems under the carpet, because it costs lives.”
Speaking to state-run broadcaster ERT on August 12, the president of Kos' hoteliers union Dina Svynou said they are scaring tourists and called for them to be 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,” she said.
Kos was hit by a destructive 6.6 magnitude earthquake on July 20, 2017, which killed two tourists and injured dozens. The tremor was followed by a small-scale tsunami which reached 1.5 meters in height.
The installation of the electronic signs are a joint project of the European Commission's Joint Research Center 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)
Authorities installed a tide-gauge on the island on July 2018.