Earthquakes Albania, update December 17th 2019

A number of buildings were reduced to rubble in the earthquake (photo EPA)

The official death toll of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit northwestern Albania in the early morning of Tuesday 26 November has been confirmed as 51. Some 2000 people were injured and 14.000 are homeless as a result of the initial earthquake and shocks on the day after.

The member states of the European Union are organising a special donor conference, scheduled for January 2020. The authorities and the public in Corfu have sent several truckloads to neighbouring Albania with essentials like food, drinking water, blankets and tents.

Nine arrests
The Albanian government has made a reservation of a 120 million euro for restoration work and has made an appeal to the international community for (financial) support. Meanwhile a prosecutor has brought charges to 17 builders, architects and owners of real estate for causing the death of the 51 victims. They are suspected of neglecting rules and standards for safe building. Nine of the seventeen suspects have been arrested, some others are believed to be on the run.
For previous posts about the earthquakes: see 26 November and 27 November.

Earthquake Albania, update

The death toll of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit northwestern Albania in the early morning of Tuesday 26 November has risen to 27 according to several sources. The depth of the epicentre has been corrected from 20 kilometres to a ‘shallow’ 10. The Ministry of Defence reports 46 people have been rescued from the rubble, while 600 have been injured.

This morning (Wednesday 27 November) a new shock was recorded of 4.9-magnitude in Mamurras, Lezhë, also in Albania’s northwest. There are no reports of new damage or casualties.

Strong earthquakes in Albania, 26 November

At 04.00 o’ clock this morning Albania was struck by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, taking at least fifteen lives, causing 600 casualties and damaging buildings in the capital Tirana, the port city of Durrës and other towns. 28 people were saved so far (13.00 hrs Greek Timezone) from crashed buildings.

The epicentre was some 30 kilometres northwest of the capital, at an approximate depth of 10 kilometres. At 07.00 there was a strong aftershock. The shocks could be felt along the Albanian coastline, in the Italian regions Apulia and Basilicata and on Corfu. Albanian authorities claim today’s earthquakes are the strongest recorded since 1929.

My correspondent in Corfu Town says he was woken up by the shocks, but didn’t even get out of bed. Although the shockwave lasted long, it was not strong enough to disturb him or his family. The Greek government this morning quickly promised to send rescue teams to its neighbouring country, helping to locate and rescue people trapped in buildings.

Earthquakes are not a rare phenomenon in Albania. Last September a 5.6-magnitude shock was recorded, demolishing some 500 buildings.

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