least six people have died and
after the most powerful earthquake that
hit Albania in decades rocked the capital of Tirana and surrounding
region early on Tuesday, causing several buildings to collapse and
burying residents in the rubble.
6.4 magnitude quake struck shortly before 4 a.m. local time (0300
GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, the second powerful
tremor to hit the region in two months.
was centered 30 km (19 miles) west of Tirana, at a shallow depth of
10 km (6 miles), the USGS said.
women were found in the rubble of an apartment building in the
northern village of Thumane, and a man died in the town of Kurbin
after panicking and jumping out of a building.
bodies of three other victims were pulled from the wreckage of two
collapsed buildings in Durres, the defense ministry said.
of those killed was an elderly woman who had managed to save her
grandson by cradling him with her body.
and army staff are helping residents caught under the rubble in
Durres and the nearby village of Thumane,” the Defense Ministry
spokeswoman told reporters.
earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 shook the country on Sept. 21,
damaging around 500 houses and destroying some. The Defense Ministry
had said it was the most powerful quake in Albania in the last 30
years. the northern town of Shkoder, bordering Montenegro. Neither of
those two earlier earthquakes caused any fatalities.
Balkan nation is the poorest country in Europe, with an average
income of less than a third of the European Union average, according
to Eurostat data.