Earthquake Albania: At least 14 killed and 325 injured

At least 14 killed, 325 injured, as 6.4-magnitude earthquake strikes Albania

Posted  489 Views updated 10 months ago

More than a dozen dead following Albania's strongest earthquake in decades.


At least 14 people have been killed, several more are missing and hundreds have been injured after an earthquake struck Albania on Tuesday.

The quake, which had a preliminary rating of 6.4 magnitude, hit the European nation at an approximate depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles) early Tuesday local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Watch Video: Albania Earthquake Strikes

The epicenter was in the port city of Durres, about 36 kilometers (22 miles) from the capital Tirana. Social media videos from the area show several buildings have collapsed.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's office revised the death toll upwards several times on Tuesday. At least four victims died in Durres, a spokesperson for Rama told CNN. Another two died in Thumane, one person died after jumping from a building in panic in Kurbin, and one victim died while driving on a badly damaged road in Lezhe, the spokesperson added.

The health ministry had earlier confirmed that at least 325 people were injured in the quake, and the Prime Minister's office has said that several people are still missing.

Nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina was also struck by an earthquake on Tuesday morning, the country's interior ministry told Wezto. That quake had a 5.4 magnitude rating.

Rescuers search a damaged building in Thumane, Albania on Tuesday morning.

Rama said nearby countries, including Italy and Greece, have been assisting Albania with the recovery operation, while other European leaders have also offered their assistance.

Relatives of people living at a collapsed building in Thumane wait for news on Tuesday.

Schools have been closed in three cities Durres, Lezhe and Tirana until further notice.

The magnitude-6.4 earthquake, which was the strongest of four quakes to hit the country's western region on Tuesday morning, left a number of people trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said "we have lost lives" in a tweet posted just hours after the quake, but didn't provide a death toll at the time.

Rama said: "It is a dramatic moment where we must nevertheless remain calm, stand by one another, and withstand this stroke together.

"We will do everything in our power and with the great friends on our side we will overcome this situation."

Videos and photos posted to social media in the immediate aftermath showed residents in several communities looking through the devastation as others showed damaged videos and roads.

One video broadcast live from Fushë-Krujë, in Durres county, showed a child screaming as rescuers tried to pull him from the rubble of what appeared to be a collapsed building.

Speaking to Wezto from Tirana, developer Robert Miller said he had rushed outside his home after the quake and later saw a vehicle that had burst into flames.

Albania News 2019

Your reaction?