September 22, 2019
A damaged building after an earthquake in Tirana, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. Albania’s government and news reports say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 shook in the country’s west and injured at least two people. (AP Photo)
By Llazar Semini, The Associated Press
POGRADEC, Albania – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck the west of Albania on Saturday but caused only minor injuries, the country’s government said.
Citing the country’s Institute of GeoSciences, Energy, Water and Environment, Albania’s defence ministry said the quake struck 13 kilometres (8 miles) north of the port city of Durres, at Kepi i Rodonit, at 2:04 p.m. local time (1204 GMT). It said it was mainly felt along Albania’s west coast.
An aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 sent also residents running out of homes and apartments.
Witnesses in Durres and the capital of Tirana reported damaged homes and apartments and power being temporarily cut.
Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said early reports indicated at least 68 people were injured, none seriously. All were treated at hospitals in Durres as well as in the capital Tirana.
Defence Minister Olta Xhacka said all 108 homes around the country suffered damage and one collapsed.
Xhacka said town halls opened shelters for people unable to go inside their homes
Prime Minister Edi Rama cancelled a trip to the United Nations annual meeting and returned to Albania to evaluate the damage.
Located along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is earthquake-prone and registers seismic activity every few days.