Albania: 6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Kills at Least 13 People
At least 13 people have died in Albania after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck the country on November 26, bringing down buildings and leaving people trapped under rubble.
According to a defense ministry spokeswoman, one man was killed after jumping from a window in panic.
The quake hit 21 miles north-west of the capital, Tirana, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Hours later, a separate earthquake struck the city of Mostar in Bosnia. There were no reports of casualties.
Albanian PM Edi Rama tweeted: “We have victims. We are working to do everything possible in the affected areas.”
According to Albanian state media, more than 600 people have been treated in hospital, including more than 300 in Tirana and in the coastal city of Durres.
Schools will be closed for the day.
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Emergency workers told Albanian media that one of the dead was an elderly woman who had managed to save her grandson by cradling him with her body.
The defense ministry spokeswoman confirmed firefighters and army staff were helping residents caught under the rubble in Durres, where four people were killed.
Three of those who died were in the town of Thumane, 25 miles to the north-west of Tirana and close to the epicenter. There are fears more people are trapped under rubble.
The man who jumped from the balcony was killed further north, in Kurbin. Another person died in Lezha.
Rescuers in the city were seen trying to free a young boy trapped in the rubble.
Albania was ill-equipped to deal with the situation, he said, and had appealed for outside help.
There have been a number of aftershocks, including one of 5.3-magnitude, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center said.
The Balkans is in an area prone to seismic activity.
The November 26 earthquake has been described by authorities as the strongest to hit Albania in decades.
In 1979, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Albania leaving 136 dead and more than 1,000 injured.