Albania: Red Cross responds after deadly earthquake

Tirana/Budapest/Geneva, 27 November 2019 – Red Cross and Red Crescent teams from across Europe have arrived in Albania to help the local Red Cross with rescue and relief efforts following yesterday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake near the capital Tirana.

The earthquake has killed 31 people and injured more than 650, according to the Government. An estimated 100,000 people are affected and around 30,000 need immediate assistance, including 2,500 who are homeless. Aftershocks continue to rock the region and rescuers are still looking for people in the rubble of collapsed buildings in Thumane and Durres.

The Secretary General of Albanian Red Cross, Mr. Artur Katuci, said he is touched by the solidarity shown by the Red Cross and Red Crescent family. “Our friends from across Europe have stepped up to help us in our hour of need. They have sent medical teams, relief teams, emergency aid and even rescue dogs. Their help is extremely appreciated. We will not forget this.”

Mr. Katuci said Italian Red Cross has sent a team specialising in search and rescue, camp management and logistics who will help set up tents for the displaced. Turkish Red Crescent has sent two trucks with tents, blankets, hygiene kits and food. The Red Cross of North Macedonia has deployed a medical team and logistics team with a supply of blankets, sleeping bags, portable beds, food and hygiene kits.

“This assistance is going directly to people who have lost their homes and are living in tents in a football field. Those affected by the earthquake are very grateful for the help of the Red Cross. Our staff and volunteers are doing an excellent job but our biggest work will be in the months ahead,” Mr Katuci said.

The Swiss Red Cross has sent its highly specialised partner organisation REDOG rescue dog team with four dogs, four handlers and a doctor.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), also has a team on the ground, joining around 500 staff and volunteers from Albanian Red Cross, who are providing medical care, first aid, psychosocial support, food, water, hot drinks, blankets and hygiene items at hospitals and tent camps set up by the Government.

The Red Cross has supported more than 1,000 people since the disaster.

Donations to the Albanian Red Cross earthquake response can be made here

Photos and video are available here.