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Earthquake 6.4R devastates Albania: Many trapped in collapsed buildings

An earthquake measuring 6.4R hit Albania in the early morning hours of Tuesday, creating chaos and destruction. So far, 7 people have died, more than 325 have been injured. Dozens are still missing, trapped under tones of concrete and rubble. By Tuesday evening the number of dead had increased to 18, of the injured to over 600. Many are still under the rubble.

It is the biggest stroke in the last 20-30 years in Albania, the Ministry of Defense said and the second powerful since last September.

The earthquake stroke at 3:53 a.m. with the epicenter located between Albanian capital Tirana and the coast town of Durres.

It is the same epicenter as the 5.6 R on September 21, 2019.

Many buildings collapsed burying dozens of people who were sleeping at the time of the earthquake. Most of the buildings are in Durres and Tirana, however, there are reports of collapsed buildings in a radius of 150 km.

A hotel in Durres has collapsed killing a 10-year-old child. Twenty Turkish nationals accommodated in the hotel are reportedly safe.

No Greek or member of the Greek minority in Durres or elsewhere in the country has been harmed.

Panic proved to be the worst advisor for the residents of earthquake-stricken areas, with some of them to have jumped outside during the tremor. One person was killed after he jumped outside.

The lack of proper state-run aid infrastructure has reportedly aggravated the situation.

Rescue teams, firefighters and citizens are struggling to pull people from under the rubble.

In many areas affected by the earthquake, there are serious problems in electricity and telecommunications.

There is confusion on the streets, with the government calling for the roads to remain open.

Dozens of aftershocks above 3R have been recorded in Albania with that strongest measuring 5.4 R at 7 o’ clock in the morning.

The 6.4 R were felt not only across the country, but also in the most West Balkan countries and North-West Greece.

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