World, Europe

Albanian premier hails rescue teams’ efforts amid quake

'They have been our guardian angels coming from sky,' Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama says

Ali Murat Alhas   | 30.11.2019
Albanian premier hails rescue teams’ efforts amid quake Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama visits search and rescue teams including Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and Turkey's National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) in quake-devastated city of Durres, Albania on November 30, 2019. The death toll from Tuesday’s powerful earthquake in Albania has risen to 50, the country's prime minister said on Saturday. The search and rescue operations were conducted by teams from Turkey, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, and Greece, among other countries. ( Orhan Onur Gemici - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Saturday hailed endeavor of foreign rescue teams who rushed to the country after it was jolted by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Nov. 26.  

"There is no comment that can express our gratitude for the men and women who came to help Albania. They have been our guardian angels coming from the sky," Rama told Anadolu Agency and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) at a facility rescue team resided in Durres city. 

"I’ve seen incredible things these days, one of the most memorable is the bravery and readiness of these people in uniforms, putting their lives on the line in a foreign country," Rama added. 

Rama said that the powerful earthquake has inflicted significant damage on properties, adding: "We are richer today because although we’ve been hit and a lot of properties have been destroyed, we have new friends, which is amazing."

He noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly talked to him over the phone to hear about the ground activities, which was "not a surprise" in his eyes as he believed Erdogan would do his best. 

"I’ve difficulty in finding the right words to express my gratitude about his intention and care," Rama said, referring to the Turkish leader. 

The earthquake hit at 3.54 a.m. local time (0254GMT) on Nov. 26, with an epicenter of 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the coast of Durres, at a depth of 38 km (23 mi), killing 50 and wounding around 1,000 people. 

The quake, which was felt throughout the region, caused communication problems and power cuts in Albania. 

Hours later, at around 10.19 a.m. local time (0919GMT), a 5.4 earthquake hit Nevesinje in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, 71 km (44 mi) south of the capital Sarajevo. 

Turkey's state aid agency Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) delivered 500 food packages and 500 blankets to quake victims. 

The aid was reportedly the first to arrive from a country since the quake.

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