Greece immediately responded to the earthquake situation in Albania and is deploying a 40-member team of EMAK, the Special Units for Disasters of the Fire Service. A C-130 is scheduled to take off from Elefsina military airport in West Attica with 25 rescuers on board at noon. One more EMAK team with 15 people is expected to leave the city of Ioannina in Epirus.
It is possible that a third team will leave Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece.
EMAK rescuers are well-trained in disaster situations and have experience in earthquake situations not only in Greece but also abroad. They are equipped with all necessary devices but also specially trained search dogs to help their local counterparts in search and rescue people trapped in rubble in a race against time.
The earthquake stroke with 6.4 R a few minutes before 4 a.m. Tuesday bringing many buildings to collapse. So far, 14 people have died, 600 have been injured, while dozens are still trapped under the rubble. 28 people have been rescued, so far.
The deployment of EMAK follows a decision by prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who called his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, first thing in the morning. Rama has reportedly requested the help of the European Mechanism of Civil Protection.
The Greek Prime Minister expressed his deepest condolence and offered any possible help to a country that does not have the infrastructure to deal with such big disasters..
Concluding his visit to North Macedonia, Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, is expected to land in Tirana around 6 p.m.
Also Greek seismologists are getting ready to travel to Albania in order to assist with scientific know-how.