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EMAK rescues two people in Albania, church opens for survivors (videos)

Local, foreign and Greek EMAK rescuers are racing against time to save lives still under the debris of collapsed buildings in Durres and Thumane. The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Albania, Anastasios, opened the church in Durres so that earthquake survivors can spend the night or find a shelter during the day.

“We opened the church last night and many people came in,” Anastasios told state broadcaster ERT TV.  “The doors of the church remain open for anyone,” one of the most respectable high-ranking clergymen of the Church in Greece added.

2,000 people in the coast town of Durres are estimated to have become homeless after many buildings collapsed following the devastating 6.4 R earthquake on early Tuesday.

The number of injured exceeds 700. So far, the bodies of 31 people have been recovered from the rubble.

An unknown number of people remains still under the debris with local and foreign rescue teams from 11 countries to race against time.

30 hours after the earthquake and rescuers are still struggling to save lives. Time is pressing.

Video: rescue of 24-year-old man

The Special Units EMAK of the Greek Fire Service have managed to pull alive a 24-year-old man and one 45-year-old woman in town of Thumane, a few kilometers north of capital Tirana.The man was laying under the rubble for 21 hours.

In three other cases, they were not lucky, they could only recover the bodies of people. In a case early Wednesday evening, a young man died the moment they pulled him out of the debris. The number of dead increased to 32.

Rescuing earthquake victims is a labor that can take several hours. Heavy machinery is around, rescue teams operate with thermo-cameras and other devices, relatives and friends are standing nearby holding their breath, supported by neighbors and other bystanders. Every once in a while, a rescuer gives a loud order: “Silence! Silence!” He wants to hear the slightest noise, a cry, a voice, a beat, a signal of life from under the tones of debris. Then the machinery, the power generators and the drillers start again and the difficult work continues with precision.

Every wrong move can close the “safety” space where the survivor is laying, can bring down more debris.

When a safe passage through  the concrete  is created, rescuers can often supply the victim with water.

When a rescue dog helps locate human life, the silence intervals last up to 15 minutes.

Every successful rescue is welcomed with applaud and the sigh of relief by relatives and friends. Every recovered dead body succumbs into mourning the families and grief all bystanders.

On Wednesday evening, EMAK and local rescuers working at debris of a four-story apartment building. They struggle to rescue a 7-year-old boy and four other people who seem to be alive. The boy’s father, a worker in Greece, rushed to his home town when he hear the news. His mother and another child were pulled out of the rubble by neighbors on Tuesday. When the earthquake stroke, the family started to run down the stairs, to get out of the building. It collapsed when they reached the first floor.

Drone Video

Amid tragedy and drama there is still hope: A pair of twins were born 20 minutes after the earthquake in a hospital building that was shaking.

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