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ALBANIA has been hit by the biggest earthquake in decades which has killed at least 22 people and injured hundreds more.

The 6.4 magnitude deadly earthquake epicentre was 10 kilometres (6 miles) north-west of Shijak, between Durres and the capital, Tirana, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.

Hours later, another quake rattled Bosnia. Authorities said rescue work was “extremely difficult.”

“The 6.4 magnitude quake hit Albania around 4 a.m. local time and could be felt some 200 miles north in Sarajevo,” Matthew Algeo reports for NPR from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The quake flattened brick-and-mortar buildings, leaving massive heaps of rubble where restaurants and other buildings had been. Emergency crews used cranes to carefully lift pieces of walls and other debris, hoping to find survivors.

As of Tuesday night, non-stop rescue efforts have managed to retrieve more than 40 people. Defence Minister Olta Xhacka said that search and rescue work was continuing, but described it as “extremely difficult.”

A number of nations, from Italy and Greece to France and Turkey, have offered to help Albania with rescue and recovery efforts, according to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.


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Cristina Hodgson

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