Death toll from Tuesday quake rises to 45 in Albania


The death toll from Tuesday’s powerful earthquake in Albania has risen to 45, officials said on Thursday.

The number of fatalities in Thumane, adjacent to the Adriatic coastal city of Durres, is now 45 after the 6.4 earthquake, the Defense Ministry said.

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations have rescued 45 people so far, with the fear for others under the debris still prevailing.

Aida Ballabani, a Durres resident whose building was demolished in the quake, told Anadolu Agency that they were caught in the earthquake while they were at their home and it shocked them.

“We are still in shock. After the earthquake, the house became uninhabitable. We still cannot recover. What is important is that our children survived, we survived and are alive,” said Ballabani.

According to the Health Ministry on Wednesday, some 750 people were injured, eight of them critically.

Some 2,150 people are taking shelter in 148 tents set up in villages around Thumane and Durres.

The earthquake hit at 3.54 a.m. local time (0254GMT) on Tuesday, with an epicenter 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the coast of Durres, at a depth of 38 km (23 mi).

The quake, which was felt throughout the region, caused communication problems and power cuts in Albania.

Hours later, at around 10.19 a.m. local time (0919GMT), a 5.4 earthquake hit Nevesinje in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, 71 km (44 mi) south of the capital Sarajevo.

On Tuesday Turkey’s state aid agency, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), delivered 500 food packages and 500 blankets to quake victims.

The aid was reportedly the first to arrive from any country since the quake.

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