Fears of casualties as 6.4-magnitude earthquake hits Albania collapsing buildings and sending panicked residents running into the streets
- Powerful earthquake hit Albania at 3:54am causing several buildings to collapse
- The magnitude-6.4 tremor was felt across hundreds of miles of eastern Europe
- In Albanian capital Tirana, witnesses said locals ran into the streets in panic
- A tremor of that size could cause widespread casualties and damage, USGS said
- A magnitude-5.6 earthquake in the area in September injured around 70 people
A large earthquake in Albania this morning caused several buildings to collapse sparking panic among residents and fears of mass casualties.
The tremor, which had a magnitude of 6.4, struck north of Durres on the west coast of Albania, 20 miles from the country’s capital Tirana and was felt across hundreds of miles.
Residents rushed from buildings, some holding babies in their arms, witnesses said.
The US Geological Survey said a quake of that size had the potential to cause widespread damage and casualties.
Early reports out of western Albania showed buildings severely damaged and residents on the streets
A map showing the location of the earthquake north of Durres, on the west coast of Albania
Many reports of shaking came from the Macedonian capital Skopje, 100 miles north east of the epicenter. One local, Eva Ellereit, tweeted: ‘Nothing like waking up to your entire bedroom shaking in the middle of the night #earthquake.’
Reports of violent shaking came from across the region, including the capital cities of Tirana in Albania and Skopje in Macedonia
In September a 5.6-magnitude quake in almost the same spot injured at least 70 people and damaged around 500 buildings. If the magnitude is confirmed at 6.4, today’s would be around 16 times stronger, experts said.
Computer predictions from the USGS said around 8,000 people would have felt ‘severe’ shaking in today’s quake, and a total of almost 12 million would have felt it in countries including Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia.
An aftershock of around 5.4-magnitude shook the area minutes after the main tremor.