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Albania Earthquake Followed By Hundreds Of Aftershocks


Destroyed cars stand next to a damaged building after an earthquake in Tirana on September 21.

Albanian authorities say more than 340 aftershocks have followed the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that hit the country on September 21, injuring 105 people and damaging hundreds of buildings.

The aftershocks and safety hazards kept many residents of the capital, Tirana, and the port city of Durres out of their homes on September 22, as authorities inspected damaged buildings and raised emergency tents.

Many people fled their homes when the quake hit at 4:04 p.m., with at least 500 spending the night in temporary shelters.

The quake damaged about 600 homes and temporarily knocked out power and water facilities in Tirana, Durres and some other western and central districts, officials said.

The Defense Ministry said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the Western Balkan country in 30 years.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said he had phone calls from his Italian, French, German, and other European counterparts offering assistance.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gave the quake an initial magnitude of 5.6, while the Albanian Geosciences Institute reported it as registering 5.8 with an aftershock 11 minutes later measuring 5.3.

The USGS put the epicenter of the quake at Durres, about 25 kilometers west of Tirana.

Reports said the quake was felt in neighboring Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters