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The Latest: Albanian quake death toll rises by 2, to 18

November 26, 2019
Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Latest on a deadly earthquake in Albania (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry has raised the confirmed death toll from Tuesday’s strong quake to 18 after two more bodies were located.

The ministry says the dead men were found in a collapsed hotel in the western port city of Durres.

Many collapsed buildings in Durres and Thumane in the north, the main quake-hit centers, are believed to still contain trapped people, Forty-three have been extracted from the ruins so far.

Rescue teams from around Europe have reached Albania to help local officials.

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3:15 p.m.

The European Union’s office in Tirana says Europe’s civil protection mechanism has been mobilized to help in the aftermath of Albania’s strong quake.

A statement from the EU delegation to Albania says Brussels has already helped mobilize 3 search and rescue teams to assist in ongoing search and rescue operations.

Teams from Italy, Greece and Romania are already in Albania, while Hungary, Germany, Croatia, France, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Turkey have also offered help.

Tuesday’s statement said additional EU assets are on standby should they be needed.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “My thoughts are with the victims and all the people affected by the disaster” in Albania.

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1:35 p.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry has reported two more dead in the western port city of Durres following an early morning earthquake, taking the confirmed death toll to 16.

The ministry said only that the bodies were found, apparently in one of the collapsed buildings in the western city 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the capital Tirana.

Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said medical teams had taken care of more than 600 injured people, with nine of them in life-threatening condition.

Rescue teams from neighboring Kosovo and Montenegro, as well as from Italy, have already arrived, while a convoy of trucks has entered the country from Greece.

They are slowly working trying to find survivors in the rubble of the collapsed buildings.

An aftershock of magnitude 5 in the Adriatic Sea just after p.m. rattled the nerves of already-scared people.

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12:25 p.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry says five more bodies have been recovered following a powerful earthquake, bringing the death toll to 14.

The Health Ministry is reporting that around 600 people have been injured, some who are still in very serious condition.

About 400 soldiers are putting up tents in two towns to shelter people with damaged houses.

Live TV footage showed people cheering when a child was found alive in a collapsed building in the town of Durres where a body had been found earlier.

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11:50 a.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry says another body has been recovered in a northern town from the rubble of an earthquake, bringing the death toll to nine.

The ministry said the body was found in Thumane, 35 kilometers (about 20 miles) north of the capital Tirana. It added that 28 survivors have been rescued so far.

Medical tents have been put up in the western town of Durres and also in norther Fushe Kruje, near Thumane..

Search-and-rescue crews and firefighters are coming from many countries in the region and Europe.

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11:10 a.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry is reporting an eighth death in the earthquake on its western coast.

It said that a man was found dead in a collapsed former hotel building in western Durres.

Local media also reported that a villa near Durres fully collapsed and it is believed up to eight people were inside. No news on their fate is known.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, his counterparts from North Macedonia and Bulgaria have offered to help.

Neighboring Montenegro is sending a search-and-rescue team. Two military aircraft with specialized emergency teams have been sent from Romania.

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10:50 a.m.

The European Union is sending condolences to the people of Albania after an earthquake killed at least seven and says it stands ready with emergency aid should it be required.

The EU’s top diplomat and aid official have said in a statement that “we express our deep condolences to the people and the authorities of the country.”

Foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides say the EU “is ready to offer assistance.”

They say that EU emergency services are “in continuous contact with Albania’s civil protection authorities.”

The two say they “remain in touch with Albania’s government to identify best ways we can help at this difficult moment.”

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10:40 a.m.

Seismologists say a strong earthquake has rattled southern Bosnia, several hours after a deadly quake struck in nearby Albania.

The GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, which monitors global earthquake activity, said the shallow earthquake of magnitude-5.4 occurred at 0919 GMT southeast of the capital, Sarajevo.

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10:15 a.m.

Countries close to Albania are reporting that the earthquake that hit the country, killing at least seven people, was felt throughout the region.

Seismologist Branko Dragicevic in Serbia told local media that the quake early on Tuesday was felt by some 10 million people in Montenegro, Italy, North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria.

In Croatia, seismologists say the quake was mostly felt along the country’s Adriatic Sea coast, waking up people. There have been no reports of damage.

The presidents of Serbia and Montenegro have expressed condolences and offered assistance to Albania.

Montenegrin seismologist Jadranka Mihaljevic described the earthquake as one of the strongest to have been registered since that country was hit by a devastating earthquake in 1979.

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10:10 a.m.

Albania’s defense minister says the death toll from a strong earthquake that struck before dawn has risen to seven.

Olta Xhacka said Tuesday that the latest victim died in an accident on a road cut off by debris in northwestern Lezha.

She said that the 3:55 a.m. 6.4-magnitude quake was followed by a 5.5-magnitude tremor minutes later and there have been more than 100 aftershocks since then.

The whole army is on alert and assistance is coming from other countries.

Xhacka said that “a number of people are still under the collapsed buildings,” but was unable to give any figure on them or on damaged buildings countrywide.

All schools have suspended lessons for two days.

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9:35 a.m.

Turkey's ambassador to Albania says a group of some 20 Turkish nationals were rescued from a hotel that was damaged in an earthquake that hit the country.

Ahmet Yoruk told CNN-Turk on Tuesday that Turks were staying in a hotel in the city of Durres, one the most affected areas from the magnitude-6.4 quake.

They were rescued with slight injuries and are being evacuated to Tirana, Yoruk said.

The ambassador also said Turkey is sending a team of rescuers and medics to assist Albania with the rescue efforts.

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9:25 a.m.

Albania’s prime minister says neighboring countries, the European Union and the United States have all offered immediate support following the strong earthquake that has killed at least six people and injured hundreds.

Edi Rama said Tuesday he had phone calls from his Italian, Greek and Turkish counterparts and also the EU and U.S. embassies in Tirana.

The quake collapsed at least three apartment buildings while people slept, and rescue crews were working to free people believed trapped in the rubble. There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried.

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9:15 a.m.

Albania’s prime minister says neighboring Kosovo is sending an emergency team to help the country cope with the consequences of the quake that has killed at least six people.

Edi Rama said Tuesday that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci called him and told that an emergency crew has left to help Albania’s efforts to rescue people from the rubble.

The western city of Durres and the northern town of Thumane are the two most affected areas.

There are at least three collapsed buildings where people are trapped. No figure for the number of people unaccounted-for has been given.

About 300 people have been injured and many buildings have collapsed.

Thousands of police and army forces have been sent to the area.

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8:50 a.m.

Albanian leaders are calling for calm following an early morning earthquake that has killed at least six people and injured about 300.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said Tuesday that all government agencies are “intensively working to save lives at the fatal spots in Durres and Thumane.”

“It is a dramatic moment where we should preserve calmness, stay alongside each other to cope with this shock,” Rama wrote on his Facebook page.

President Ilir Meta called on the Cabinet to ask for international assistance and called for solidarity with the affected population.

The Interior Ministry asked people to avoid driving in the affected areas to allow emergency services to operate freely.

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8:20 a.m.

Albania’s Defense Ministry says the death toll from a magnitude-6.4 quake that shook the country has risen to six.

Spokeswoman Albana Qehajaj says two bodies were taken out of a collapsed building in the western port city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the capital, Tirana.

In total three deaths were reported in Durres, two in the northern town of Thumane, and one in Kurbin.

Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said some 300 injured people have already been treated in Durres, Tirana and Thumane, with more arriving.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.4 quake at 3:57 a.m. was centered 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital, Tirana. It was at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles)

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8 a.m.

Albania’s president says there is a “very dramatic” situation in a northern town after a strong earthquake collapsed buildings.

President Ilir Meta told journalists from Thumane, 36 kilometers (22 miles) north of the capital, Tirana, that “the situation is very dramatic. All efforts are being done to take the people out of the ruins.”

Two people, a woman and a man, were taken out dead from a collapsed building in Thumane. Two others were killed in western Durres after the magnitude 6.4 quake struck early Tuesday.

In addition to the four dead, at least 150 people were injured in the quake.

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7:35 a.m.

Officials say a strong earthquake in Albania has killed at least four people, injured 150 and collapsed buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 6.4 quake was centered 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital, Tirana.

The quake was felt along the Albanian coast.

Authorities reported scores of aftershocks and called on the people in the most affected areas to stay out of their homes.

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4:55 a.m.

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has shaken Albania, causing at least minor damage.

The United States Geological Survey says the earthquake struck early Tuesday and was centered 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana. It was at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles)

People reported seeing cracks in their apartment walls. People were seen leaving homes to go to open areas.

No announcement has been made from authorities.

An earthquake in September damaged hundreds of homes.

 
 
 

 

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