Several earthquakes have injured dozens of people in Albania, scared hundreds more and caused damage. The Albanian Ministry of Health reported 68 injured, 21 of whom were hospitalized. Most would have minor injuries.
The most violent earthquake, according to the Albanian Ministry of Defense, had a magnitude of 5.8. The US earthquake watch USGS gave the strength at 5.6. It happened shortly after 16 o'clock. Two more earthquakes with strengths of 5.1 and 4.7 followed.
According to the ministry, the epicenter of the first quake was not far from Cape Rodon north of the port city of Durrës. The Ministry spoke of the worst earthquake in Albania for decades.
Quakes were also felt in neighboring countries
The Municipality of Tirana said emergency teams would be available throughout the city if needed.
The quakes were also felt in the neighboring countries of Montenegro and northern Macedonia, according to media reports from the two countries. Photos show severe damage to the building - for example, at the Geology Faculty in Tirana. Fallen stones and other debris destroyed cars there. Another building in the Albanian capital had a vertical crack across several floors.
Tirana has a good 600,000 inhabitants, Albania almost three million. Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu visited the emergency room of the accident hospital in Tirana. She has not seen cases of serious injuries, the state news agency ATA reported.
Prime Minister Edi Rama canceled his participation in the UN General Assembly in New York on the earthquake series. He interrupted his journey in Frankfurt to return to Albania, as ATA reported, citing government agencies.
Mediterranean region one of the most active earthquake regions in Europe
The Mediterranean is one of the most active earthquake regions in Europe. There, African and Eurasian continental plates move towards each other, causing tensions that jerkily discharge through earthquakes, as a geophysicist at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) said on Saturday evening.
In addition, so-called microplates would come as the Adriatic plate. Nevertheless, earthquakes like the ones on Saturday are not "on the agenda" in Albania, which is located on the Adriatic coast, "said the BGR expert. Most recently there were similar violent earthquakes on June 1 at Korçë in the southeast of the country. There was a quake of magnitude 5.2 with aftershocks. Even then, there had been "significant damage".