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LIVE | Albanian Earthquake, death toll on the rise

Latest update: 02/12/2019 - 15:20
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At least 51 people have been killed and 750 others are injured, since the catastrophic 6.4 magnitude earthquake which rocked the country on Tuesday, the strongest in the last 50 years.

Rescue Teams, retrieved another dead body from the rubble of the Mira Mare Hotel in Durres, and footage aired from the "Keneta" area shows ambulances and police forces gathered at the ruins of the Lala family home, as another victim was recovered. 

Albania was rocked by another 4.9 magnitude earthquake on Thursday. Cracked buildings have been reported in Tirana, following the continuous tremors that have hit Albania in the last 72 hours. The following day, another powerful earthquake of 5.5-magnitude struck the country.

On Wednesday, a mother and her son were pulled out from the rubble of a six-story building. 

On Tuesday, a 30-year old passed away at the Hospital, due to the injuries she had sustained after being trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building for over 14 hours. Earlier on, her 8 year old daughter was brought out of the rubbles, but was pronounced dead on the scene.

Two brothers from Durres, had already passed away when the rescuers reached them.

After an extraordinary meeting with the Council of Ministers, Albanian PM Edi Rama declared a National Emergency in Tirana and Durres.

In a live feed from his Offical Facebook Page, Prime Minister Rama confirmed that reinforcements from Kosovo, Italy, Montenegro, and Greece are on their way. The United States and the European Union said, that they “are ready to offer assistance." The EU has activated “Copernicus” a satellite monitoring system, to provide high quality images of the areas affected by the earthquake.

Turkey's Red Crescent has already arrived in Albania offering humanitarian assistance, and Greek Firefighters have rescued a citizen trapped in the ruins of a building in Thumana, one of the worst-hit cities by the earthquake.

Seismologist Rexhep Koçi told Euronews Albania, that “there will be tremors” but they will “eventually decrease in the next few days."

Search and Rescue Teams, have announced that they will carry on with the operation throughout the night, as they sift through the rubble in the hopes of finding other survivors. 

Authorities have advised citizens to keep away from the affected areas and to not return to their homes, if they have been damaged by the earthquake.

Many citizens from Tirana and Durres, have chosen to stay outside amid fears of another strong earthquake.

Later in the evening, Prime Minister Rama announced that they are in discussions with Hotels from Durres, Kavaja, and even “as far as Vlora, if it's necessary,"  in order to give shelter to the families, who have lost their homes.

"It is winter time, they cannot stay under tents...kids need to do their homework, people need to be warm and so on" said Rama from Durres.

Schools and Universities will be closed until December 2nd, thus far. 

November 27th, has been declared a National Day of Mourning.

"The European Union, stands by Albania at this difficult time. Search and Rescue Teams from Italy, Greece, and Romania are already on their way. In addition, I would like to thank Hungary, Germany, Croatia, France, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Turkey for their offers of assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. My thoughts are with the victims and all the people affected by the disaster" said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

Hospitals in the cities of Tirana and Durres, are facing a high flux of people who suffered from injuries. 

Prime Minister Edi Rama, took to social media to say that authorities are working hard to save every possible life. 

President Ilir Meta, urged authorities to do everything in their power to save the lives of the people stuck in ruins. 

Albania's neighboring countries have expressed their solidarity with Albania.

"Our thoughts and solidarity are with the Albanian people in these difficult moments" former Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras said today.

Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte said, that help for Albania is on the way.

Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi and acting Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, have also agreed to send help in terms of human resources to Albania. 

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov took to Twitter to offer help for Albanian Authorities. 

President of European Parliament, David Sassoli said that "Europe is standing in solidarity with Albania."

U.S. Embassy in Tirana, took to Twitter to send "its deepest condolences to all the families and communities, affected by today’s earthquake."

"The EU stands in solidarity with Albania & is ready to offer assistance, including through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism" said High Representative Federica Mogherini.

Schools have been closed, while citizens are still reluctant to go home because of ongoing aftershocks. 

 

 

 

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