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Updated 28 November 2019 | Tirana, Albania [tedNEWS with Leo España]

At least 31 are reported dead and over 650 injured in the most powerful earthquake to hit Albania in decades. The 6.4-magnitude quake struck shortly before 4am local time on Tuesday, 26 November some 30km (19 miles) west of the capital, Tirana.

Pray for Albania earthquake 1600Leo España, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Mission in Albania, states that church members have reported being well, but there is serious damage to some buildings and houses, especially in the city of Durres, close to the epicentre of the earthquake.

On behalf of both church members and the larger population of Albania, Pastor España expressed thanks for all the prayers and messages of support that are already coming in. He adds, “We are praying for protection and have set a schedule to pray altogether as a church.”

“We are having aftershocks and people are afraid and prefer to stay outside,” España said.

There are 439 Adventist members in Albania serving a population of 2.8 million in a country where the average income is less than a third of the European Union average. Among the Adventist projects in the country are health and education programmes. In addition, there is a very highly regarded ADRA Kindergarten in the capital, Tirana.

The Kindergarten appears unharmed as it is located in an open environment. España says that Church leaders will check Adventist church buildings later in the day, but expresses “thanks to God for protecting our church families.”

ADRA Albania earthquakeADRA responder distributes a mattress to a resident in the town of Fushe Kruja [Photo credit: ADRA Albania]ADRA Europe in already in consultation with colleagues on the ground and is working on an initial response strategy. 

“Specific areas in Durres and Thumana are still restricted due to military and special risk team interventions,” says Altin Rexhepi, country director for ADRA in Albania. “Our office is fortunately not affected and we are safe. We are coordinating with local authorities on urgent needs.”

ADRA has begun responding by providing mattresses, blankets, food and clean water for the communities of Roma and Thumana.  Altin emphasised that it is crucial to provide tents, especially for the Roma community, as soon as possible. “They are not receiving any help from the government or any other institution but ADRA in Albania. Our team is still working to build a small camp for them.

Meanwhile, ADRA is providing meals for 50 people in the city of Kruja whose houses were severely damaged,” he says.  Keep updated by visiting the ADRA Europe Facebook page.

The best way to help provide support is via donation through your local ADRA office.


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.




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