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26 Nov 2019 | 11:35 AM UTC

Albania: Death toll rises following 6.4-magnitude earthquake November 26 /update 3

Authorities confirm at least 18 fatalities and over 600 injuries following 6.4-magnitude earthquake on November 26; flights out of Tirana International Airport (TIA) suspended

environment
transportation
ALB

Event

Government officials confirmed that at least 18 people have been killed and another 600 injured following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck near Tirana during the early morning hours (local time) of Tuesday, November 26. Rescue and recovery operations are ongoing as of Tuesday evening to free people believed to be trapped under collapsed apartment buildings and hotels; at least five buildings collapsed in Durres and one other in Thumane. All flights out of Tirana International Airport (TIA) have reportedly been suspended due to damage at the facility. Schools in Tirana, Durres, and Lezhë have been closed indefinitely.

Multiple aftershocks have been reported in the region as of 09:00 on Tuesday. Further aftershocks are possible in the coming hours and days.

Context

The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the earthquake northwest of Shijak, near Tirana, at around 03:54 (local time) at a depth of 10 km (6 mi).

Advice

Individuals in the region are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations, and prepare for potential aftershocks.

In the event of aftershocks, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), move away from the windows, and not attempt to leave a building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from tall buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.