Albania Rocked by Earthquake and its Aftershocks

The epicenter of the quake was near Durres (Wikimedia Commons)

The epicenter of the quake was near Durres (Wikimedia Commons)

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Albania in the late afternoon on September 21, according to the United States Geological Survey. The epicenter was near the port city of Durres, Albania’s second largest city. Across the country, the quake damaged infrastructure and injured 105, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Aftershocks continue to rock Albania, according to the Albanian Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment. The AP notes that the Institute has registered more than 340 aftershocks, none of which have posed a significant threat to buildings or individuals, but locals still fear more damage.

Though inspectors deemed few structures unsafe, many locals slept in shelters the night after the quake. The army set up tents in a stadium allowing Durres residents to stay for several nights. Out of 98 damaged schools, inspectors declared two unsafe. The government cancelled classes for Monday, according to the AP.

Albanian police questioned two journalists the day after the quake. The reporters had allegedly incited panic by falsely reporting a second, stronger quake would occur the day after the initial earthquake, according to the AP. Hundreds of Albanians fled their homes after hearing this false report. In order to handle the crisis, Prime Minister Edi Rama cancelled a trip to the UN and returned home from Frankfurt, reports Deutsche Welle.