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Hopes fade of finding more survivors after deadly Albanian quake

Forty people have died since the tremor on Tuesday morning.

Turkish rescuers search at a collapsed building in Durres, western Albania (AP)
Turkish rescuers search at a collapsed building in Durres, western Albania (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Hopes are fading of finding anyone else alive beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania two days after a deadly quake struck the country’s Adriatic coast.

The death toll has increased to 40 after more bodies were pulled from the ruins.

Authorities said search and rescue operations continued in the port city of Durres, 20 miles west of the capital Tirana, where three bodies were recovered overnight.

Searching had stopped however in the nearby town of Thumane, where no more people were believed to be buried in collapsed apartment buildings after six bodies were recovered from the rubble overnight.

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A woman mourns after rescuers found the body of a relative after an earthquake in Thumane (AP)

More than 650 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn on Tuesday and has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including several with magnitudes of above 5.0, which have complicated rescue efforts.

Rescue crews with specialised equipment, sniffer dogs and emergency supplies have flooded into the country from neighbouring countries and other European nations to help in the search efforts and provide for those left homeless.

Many of those left without homes in Thumane spent a second night in tents, unwilling to head to hotels along the coast made available for their accommodation while the search operation continued.

A total of about 2,100 people had spent Tuesday night in tents, and the government has vowed to provide new homes during 2020 for all those left homeless.

Authorities have warned residents not to return to any buildings that could have been damaged until engineers can check the structures for safety.

PA

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