You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Race to find Albania earthquake survivors after 26 killed

Sky News logo Sky News 27/11/2019

Rescuers in Alabania are racing to find survivors of an earthquake that has killed at least 26 people.

a group of people on a dirt road: Italian search and rescue workers look for survivors in Durres, western Albania © Getty Italian search and rescue workers look for survivors in Durres, western Albania

About 650 people were injured and another 20 reported missing after the magnitude-6.4 quake - Albania's worst in decades - hit its coastal cities on Tuesday.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Emergency workers carry a survivor after rescuing him from the rubble in Durres © Getty Emergency workers carry a survivor after rescuing him from the rubble in Durres

On Wednesday, another tremor struck off the island of Crete in neighbouring Greece.

International rescuers have joined local crews as they desperately search through the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania - Europe's poorest country.

Five of the dead were discovered on Wednesday as crews used drones, dogs and heavy machinery to search through the wreckage.

a group of people walking in the snow: Serbian rescuers dig through rubble in Thumane, where five bodies were pulled out on Wednesday © Getty Serbian rescuers dig through rubble in Thumane, where five bodies were pulled out on Wednesday

There are fears the earthquake could be more deadly than one in 1979 in which 40 people were killed.

In Thumane, near Albania's second-largest city of Durres, a woman stood in front of a collapsed building calling for rescuers to find her niece.

the roof of a building: Buildings across Albania's coast collapsed during the earthquake on Tuesday and subsequent aftershocks © Getty Buildings across Albania's coast collapsed during the earthquake on Tuesday and subsequent aftershocks

Soon after, crews brought out two bodies, with police saying another victim was found earlier just before dawn, and another two were recovered hours later.

a group of people in a city: A makeshift camp was set up in a football stadium in Durres after hundreds were left homeless © Getty A makeshift camp was set up in a football stadium in Durres after hundreds were left homeless

In Durres, two people were also feared trapped in the rubble of a collapsed hotel.

"We don't know whether they are alive or not," Mert Eryuksel, a rescue worker from Turkey said.

People in the city slept in tents, cars and at a football stadium as at least 250 powerful aftershocks - two of them magnitude 5 - continued throughout the night and into Wednesday.

Some spent the night outside, huddling around fires to stay warm.

Flags were at half-mast on public buildings across the country after the government declared a national day of mourning.

Prime Minister Edi Rama thanked Greece and other countries who have offered, and provided, support.

"We feel good to not be alone and I'm very grateful to all our friends," Mr Rama said.

He said people who had lost their homes would be placed in hotels during the winter and would be rehomed "within 2020, in better housing than they had".

Rescue teams and disaster experts from more than a dozen countries, including France, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and the United States, have arrived to help.

Kristina Margjini, who lives in Thumane, spent the night outdoors.

She said: "The quake left us without shelter. Everything we have is destroyed: The apartment, windows, everything, and we cannot live there anymore."

Police officer Ajet Peci's two daughters were killed in a block of flats that collapsed in Durres, and his wife is still missing.

"How can I live?" Mr Peci said

"I don't know what I did to make it out. I wish I had stayed with them."

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Sky News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon