Hopes Fade For Any More Survivors in Albania Quake; 40 Dead

DURRES, Albania (AP) -
Rescue workers search for survivors following an earthquake, in Durres, Albania, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Hopes were fading Thursday 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, with the death toll increasing 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.

More than 650 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn 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 specialized equipment, sniffer dogs and emergency supplies have flooded into the country from neighboring 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.