Albania Earthquake — At Least 23 Dead and Hundreds Injured
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Albania Earthquake — At Least 23 Dead and Hundreds Injured

By IndraStra Global News Team

On November 25, 2019, Northwestern Albania was struck by a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter 7.5 miles (12 km) west-southwest of Mamurras, at 03:54 CET.

According to the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) Comprehensive Catalog, the earthquake had a magnitude of M 6.4 on the Richter scale - one of the strongest earthquakes to hit Albania in 40 years.

Albania lies across the convergent boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Adriatic Plate, part of the complex collision zone with the African Plate. Particularly, the structure of the western part of Albania is dominated by active thrust tectonics. That's why the region is quiet seismically active, with several M>6 earthquakes in the last hundred years. In 1979, the largest of these events struck 43 miles (70 km) further north, in Montenegro, killing 135 people in Montenegro and Albania.

By November 27, hundreds of aftershocks were recorded — of which four have been greater than M 5.0 and a further six between M 4 and 5. 

Overall damage due to the earthquake is very severe in the large port city of Durrës and the town of Kodër-Thumanë, which are located near the epicenter. Two hotels and two apartment blocks collapsed in Durrës. Four buildings, including a five-storied apartment block, collapsed in Kodër-Thumanë. A state of emergency has been declared for Durrës and Tirana.

Following the quake, Albania’s neighbors, Italy, Greece, and Kosovo, have begun assisting with the recovery operation, while other European leaders have also offered their assistance.

Earlier on September 21, 2019, at least 37 people were injured on when an M 5.6 earthquake struck Albania in the same region. The earthquake struck along Albania's central coast near the port city of Durrës, according to the United States Geological Survey, about 35 kilometers west of the capital Tirana. A trauma hospital in Tirana reported 37 injuries, according to public broadcaster Albanian Radio and TV. 

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