Support Pours In From Across The World During Albanian Earthquake Aftermath

Support Pours In From Across The World During Albanian Earthquake Aftermath

The death toll from yesterday’s earthquake has reached 31 and some 650 people have been injured. Thousands spent the night outside, either due to damage to their homes or out of fear that another quake would strike. Around 45 people have been pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings but the hope of finding survivors is proving more challenging as as rescue efforts have intensified after the arrival of specialized international support.

The earthquake struck the Durres area just before 4am on 26 November and registered 6.3 on the Richter scale. Over 500 aftershocks occurred in the next 24 hours, registering between 2 and 5.4 in magnitude, and it is likely they could continue in the coming days.

Three apartment buildings and three hotels collapsed in Durres and two apartment buildings collapsed in Thumane. Other areas affected included Lezhe, Kruje and Tirana. In the capital, damage has been limited to cracks in buildings, falling masonry, and superficial damage to the interior of homes, those nearer the epicentre have not been so lucky.

Erida, a woman living in the Nishtulla part of Durres told Exit “we have problems with our home- we need food and we are left with our children on the street and I am worried that our children will get sick.”

Many families have spent the night in tents or huddled under blankets in open spaces and are facing an unknown amount of time in this situation as rain is forecast for this evening with temperatures expected to plunge to 9 degrees Celsius.

To cope with the large numbers of injured people, a number of private hospitals including Hygeia, Spitali Amerikan and Polyklinika Doctors Hospital have opened their doors to those hurt in the quake. They are treating people for free to help out the overburdened state hospitals.

Citizens have worked through the night at the site of the National Theatre in Tirana to collect and sort through donated food, water, and clothing and to send it to those in need. Items that are in demand today include blankets, warm clothing, clothing and food for children and babies, and water. Donations can be taken to the National Theatre near Skanderbeg Square all day today.

Assistance has poured in from all over the region with citizens in Kosovo posting that they will provide accommodation to Albanians made homeless by the disaster. Some hotels in Prishtina have also opened their doors and offered refuge to those that need it. Other hotels and guest houses throughout Albania including in Vlore and even Sarande have said they will house victims.

Additionally, the Kosovo government has pledged EUR 500,000 to support the government’s efforts as well as sending their army and members of the police force to assist. Croatian, Greek, Italian, Romanian, Turkish, Montenegrin, and North Macedonian authorities have also assisted by sending aid, rescue teams, medics, and members of their armed forces to assist with rescue efforts and the humanitarian crisis.

US Senators, foreign ambassadors, the Pope, politicians, celebrities including Rita Ora and Dua Lipa, have all pledged their support via social media and many are calling for donations to various funding channels to provide further assistance. The Open Society, run by George Soros has also pledged $500,000. The government has also called for donations.

Today has been declared a day of mourning and all celebrations for the Independence Day (11/28) and Liberation Day (11/29) have been cancelled.

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