Start News Earthquake series shakes Albania

Earthquake series shakes Albania

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More than 100 people were injured in several earthquakes on Saturday in Albania. The tremors shocked many and caused property damage. The number of mostly mild injuries increased to at least 108 until Sunday night, according to local media, citing the health services.

A violent aftershock shortly after midnight at night created new fears among the people. The strongest earthquake on Saturday afternoon, according to the Albanian Ministry of Defense had a strength of 5.8. The US earthquake watch USGS gave the strength at 5.6. It happened shortly after 16.00 (CEST). Two more earthquakes with strengths of 5.1 and 4.7 followed.

According to the ministry, the center of the first quake was not far from Cape Rodon north of the port city of Durres. The Ministry spoke of the worst earthquake in Albania for decades. In a first assessment of the government it was said after a crisis meeting in the night on Sunday, that at least 293 houses had been damaged, in addition, cracks were registered at 20 residential buildings.

People ran in panic on the street

The night aftershock was measured with a magnitude of 4.8. No information is available on the effects of this tremor. According to media reports, the tremors triggered panic, especially in Durres and in the Albanian capital Tirana. People were frightened in large numbers on the street. The quakes were also felt in the neighboring countries of Montenegro and northern Macedonia, according to media reports from the two countries.

Photos show severe damage to the building – for example, at the geology faculty in Tirana. Falling stones and other debris destroyed cars there. Another building in Tirana had a vertical crack across several floors.
Report: Many minors among injured

Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu visited the emergency room of the accident hospital in Tirana in the late afternoon. She has not seen cases of serious injuries, the state news agency ATA reported. According to the news site, among the injured were many minors with head and limb injuries.

Prime Minister Edi Rama canceled his participation in the UN General Assembly in New York on the earthquake series. He interrupted his journey in Frankfurt to return to Albania, as ATA reported, citing government agencies. At the government’s crisis meeting, ATA said he praised the work of the emergency and rescue services, which, according to him, responded in real time.

„Not on the agenda“

The Mediterranean region is one of the most active earthquake regions in Europe. But earthquakes like those on Saturday are still „not on the agenda“ in Albania, on the Adriatic coast, said an expert from the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Most recently there were similar violent earthquakes on June 1 near Korce in the southeast of the country. There was a quake of magnitude 5.2 with aftershocks. Even then, there had been „significant damage“.