Deadly earthquake hits Albania, leaving at least 47 people dead and hundreds injured

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 26, 2019 12:54

Deadly earthquake hits Albania, leaving at least 47 people dead and hundreds injured

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  • While rescuing operations are ongoing, reports on numbered injured people and those who have been trapped inside the rubble are reaching more than 600.

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TIRANA, Nov. 26 - A deadly, 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Albania, and particularly Tirana and Durres, on Tuesday morning, bringing down buildings, trapping people under rubble and so-far causing at least forty victims.   

At least 9 bodies were recovered overnight on Wednesday from the ruins of collapsed palaces and residences.

The quake hit 34 km (21 miles) northwest of the capital, Tirana, but was felt across the region, in Italy and in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, almost 700 km away. 

Firefighters and army staff immediately were sent to help residents caught under the rubble in the coastal city of Durres and in Thumane, 40km to the northwest of Tirana and close to the earthquake's epicentre, where the damages were greatest. 

Search operations were halted in Thumane on Thursday morning as it is believed there are no more people caught in the rubble. Operations are ongoing in Durres, while hope to find survivors seems to have faded. 

A man who died when jumping from a balcony was killed further north in Kurbin, while some elderly in Durres were discovered protecting children and other family members with their bodies. 

The government published the names of 39 victims, three of which are children aged 3, 4 and 8. No information on the number of missing people was provided.

So far, the bodies of 15 people killed in Durres, 23 in Thumane and 1 in Kurbin have been recovered.

45 people have been rescued so far, three of them are in serious condition.

Media reported that all flights from Tirana airport were suspended due to damage at the airport building.

Almost all victims were caused by the flattening of three apartment buildings and three hotels in Durres and two apartments building in Thumane.

This is the second-largest earthquake in Albania in the months, following a 5.6 magnitude tremor that hit Tirana on September 21.

Since early Tuesday morning, the country has experienced more than 830 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 3.5 to 5.4.

The Department of Seismology at the Geo-Sciences Institute said that 4 aftershocks were of a magnitude higher than 4.5. They added that 7 aftershocks were of a 4–4.5 magnitude, and 17 more were of a 3.5–3.9 magnitude.

Earthquake map shows that most aftershocks continued to hit Durres and Tirana, while more than 650 people have received medical assistance. 

The municipality of Durres said that 27 residential buildings and 163 houses were damaged to the degree that they are uninhabitable.

Early on Tuesday morning the morning Prime Minister Edi Rama arrived in Durres.

"The relief felt for every life saved does not make the pain for those lives lost and the relatives crying for their loved ones any smaller," Rama wrote on his Facebook account. 

On Tuesday, the government declared a state of emergency, while Wednesday was declared a mourning day. 

"As the constitution and legislation explain, and given the nature of the problem and situation, it will be a state of emergency in the perimeter of the two regions where the wounds are most open, in Durres and Tirana. A state of emergency is not just a matter of finances, but a series of measures. I do not know whether those who preached it were willing to submit to such measures. This has been the reason we have been reflecting, because the state of emergency means creating a new level of governance for the situation for a period of 30 days," said Rama.



Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 26, 2019 12:54