Published: Wed, November 27, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Natural disaster in Albania kills dozens and injures and more than 300

Natural disaster in Albania kills dozens and injures and more than 300

The US Geological Survey reported the huge magnitude-6.4 quake in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The strongest quake to hit Albania in decades rocked the capital of Tirana early on Tuesday, sending panicked residents into the streets and causing at least one building to collapse in the nearby port town of Durres.

Meanwhile, Kosovo's government has donated 500,000 euros to Albania to help with the recovery.

"We are working to do everything possible in the affected areas".

Emergency workers clear debris at a damaged building in Thumane.

Rescue teams from around Europe have reached Albania to help local officials.

It was a welcome moment of celebration for city reeling from the 6.4 magnitude natural disaster that struck Albania before dawn on Tuesday, knocking down buildings and trapping victims in the destruction.

Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said the search-and-rescue efforts were "extremely hard operations, where you have to work slowly because there is a high risk of further collapse, endangering not only residents, but also those trapped, and the rescuers themselves".

"We had to be careful, one mistake would have been fatal", said Agim.

The quake hit 34 km (21 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana, early on Monday morning. More people are feared trapped in the rubble.

In total three deaths were reported in Durres, two in the northern town of Thumane, and one in Kurbin. Rescuers were working to take out other people from the building.

Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said more than 600 people were treated for injuries, and nine were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, the AP reported.

Albania is known for haphazard urban planning, particularly along the coast where many build without proper permits.

Four bodies were pulled from the ruins of damaged buildings in the port town, where a three-story hotel collapsed and other buildings were damaged, the Albanian Ministry of Defense said, adding that three bodies were uncovered in rubble in the nearby town of Thumane. Many have reported seeing cracks within the partitions of their residence.

Some people left their homes to go to open areas.

In September a 5.6-magnitude quake in almost the identical spot injured no less than 70 individuals and broken round 500 buildings.

People in Kosovo have also taking to social networks to offer their homes for anyone affected and in need.

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