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29 Nov 2019 | 01:00 AM UTC

Albania: Death toll from earthquake rises to 46 November 28 /update 5

Recovery operations are ongoing following deadly earthquake; officials confirm at least 46 fatalities as of November 28

environment
transportation
ALB

Event

Recovery operations continued on Thursday, November 28, in multiple cities following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck near Tirana during the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 26. Officials have confirmed at least 46 fatalities as of Thursday night (local time), mostly in Durrës and Thumane. Over 650 people also suffered injuries and thousands are homeless in the region. Search and rescue operations were called off in Thumane on Thursday after all people reported missing were accounted for; emergency crews continue to search for survivors in other locations. Prime Minister Edi Rama declared a 30-day state of emergency in Durrës and Thumane and has promised to rebuild the destroyed homes by the end of the year. In Tirana, some residents are sleeping in tents or their vehicles until engineers have declared their buildings safe. 

According to media reports, there have been over 500 aftershocks since the quake on Tuesday, including some registering over 5.0-magnitude. Further aftershocks and collapsing infrastructure are possible in the coming days.

Context

The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the earthquake northwest of Shijak, near Tirana, at around 03:54 on November 26 at a depth of 10 km (6 mi).

Advice

Individuals in the region are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations, avoid the affected areas, 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.