x

Society

Search in Albania Quake Reduced, Death Toll at 49

November 30, 2019

TIRANA — The operation to find survivors and recover bodies from Albania’s deadly earthquake was winding down Friday, with rescue crews limiting their efforts to a collapsed beachfront hotel in the port town of Durres as the death toll climbed to 49.

Albanian, Serb and Montenegrin rescue crews were working through the ruins of the hotel, where one person was still believed to be missing, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Albana Qehajaj said. Neighboring countries and European Union nations rushed in rescue crews and specialized equipment hours after the quake struck.

About 2,000 people were injured in Tuesday’s 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake, said Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu, after information was collected from hospitals, small health centers, homes and those now staying in tents.

The most seriously affected areas were Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Tirana, and the nearby town of Thumane. The search operation in Thumane ended Wednesday, and mourners were preparing to bury some of the victims of the earthquake in a series of funerals on Friday.

The earthquake struck as people slept, and nearly all of those killed were trapped when their apartment buildings or hotels they were staying in collapsed on top of them. Hundreds of aftershocks, with at least three of magnitudes greater than 5, have rattled the country and complicated rescue efforts.

Apart from the buildings that collapsed, Prime Minister Edi Rama said preliminary figures showed about 700 buildings in Durres and more than 235 in Tirana were seriously damaged.

“Now comes the hard time for us, with nonstop work to bring life back to normal,” said Rama, who said he had appealed for international help in reconstruction efforts. He has vowed to re-house all those left homeless “in better living conditions than before the quake,” within a year.

Greece said it was responding to Rama’s appeal for help by sending a specialized 16-member team of engineers from the country’s natural disaster relief agency to help in reconstruction on Friday. The team was to fly to Albania on a military plane that would bring back the two teams of Greek disaster response firefighters that have been working in search-and-rescue efforts since Tuesday afternoon.

“The priority now is shelter, food and care for any homeless citizen,” said Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhacka, adding engineers have begun assessing damaged homes. Preliminary estimates put the number of people left homeless by the quake at 4,000.

“No one will remain in the street,” she said.

About 500 people spent a third night in tents in Thumane, while a total of about 2,000 people from Durres and Thumane were moved to temporary accommodation in hotels, schools and sports halls.

RELATED

ATHENS - Greek annual inflation rate slowed to 8.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

ATHENS - Greek annual inflation rate slowed to 8.

The Tsigaris cousins behind the successful Nick the Greek quick-service Greek food chain that began in California and has 38 restaurants open and 60 more in the works is selling a majority stake to Yadav Enterprises, because of a Greek link.

DOHA, Qatar — England's players have been asked one question on repeat as they prepare to face France in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

NEW YORK — New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin will miss at least two weeks because of a fracture in his right leg.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.