Earthquake in Albania: Damage to homes, dozens injured

Damage and injuries from the earthquake in Albania / Photo: RES / EPA / MALTON DIBRA
Dozens of slightly injured and damaged homes were left behind by the powerful earthquake in Albania on Saturday afternoon, while the Richter “dance” continued into the night, with many aftershocks.

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale initially centered near Durres and a focal depth of 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey. According to the Albanian Institute of Geosciences, the main earthquake was 5.8 on the Richter scale. After 11 minutes there was a 5.3 degree earthquake. The aftershocks continued into the night and the strongest recorded was 4.4 Richter, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Institute.

Crack in apartment building after earthquake / Photo: AP

Video: The moment of strong earthquake in Albania

68 injured by earthquake
According to Albanian Health Minister Ogerta Manastirlou, 68 people were treated for minor injuries in Tirana and Durres. Most of the injuries were caused when people ran out of their homes at the time of the earthquake. “Fewer go to hospitals after the initial panic,” the minister said.

Damaged cars outside the Faculty of Geology building after an earthquake in Tirana, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. Albania’s government and news reports say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 shook in the country’s west and injured at least two people. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

The strongest earthquake of recent decades
Saturday ‘s earthquake was felt at a radius of at least 250km and was the strongest in the last 20-30 years in Albania, according to the country’s defense ministry. “Most importantly, there was no loss of human life,” Defense Minister Olta Tsaka said. Albanian President Ilir Meta went to Durres in order to find out about the situation, and urged citizens to be calm.

In Tirana, 48 houses and three apartment buildings were cracked. In Durres, 42 houses and four apartment buildings were damaged by the earthquake . In addition, damage to the earthquake damaged 20 buildings in other areas, Albania’s defense minister announced. Damage was also inflicted on the university, the building that houses the Geology Department. Cracks are also present in schools, but the education ministry has announced that classes will be held on Monday.

The earthquake was felt in many Albanian cities, especially in Tirana and Durres, where panic struck. “All of our neighbors came out screaming. Fortunately it didn’t last long – about 20 seconds … I don’t remember a more powerful earthquake than that, “a 67-year-old Atjim pensioner told Reuters.

Video: Damage from earthquake

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