An natural disaster with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck the west of Albania on Saturday but caused only minor injuries, the country's government said. The earthquakes were of magnitude 5.6 and 5.3 on the Richter scale and were also felt in neighbouring countries.
Damaged cars outside the Faculty of Geology building after an quake in Tirana, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.
Cars were crushed by bricks falling from buildings in Albania's capital Tirana, as the country was stuck by a pair of strong earthquakes on Saturday.
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 quake struck around 4 p.m., followed by a weaker aftershock. It also damaged about 600 homes and knocked out power and water facilities in Tirana, Durres and some other western and central districts. Some Tirana residents were kept out of damaged homes deemed unsafe. Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said.
Residents gather outdoors in Tirana after two earthquakes above 5.0 magnitude struck the coastline Adriatic coastline of Albania
An old building in Tirana was evacuated after cracks appeared in its walls, while debris from fallen eaves of the roof could be seen scattered across the courtyard at the Geology Faculty of Tirana's University.
In Tirana, many people fearful of aftershocks remained outside their homes for several hours.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said he had phone calls from his Italian, French, German, and other European counterparts offering assistance.
Located along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is earthquake-prone and registers seismic activity every few days.