Earthquake of magnitude 6.4 rocks Albania, buildings damaged

TIRANA (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.4 shook Albania shortly before 4 a.m. local time (0300 GMT), the second in about two months to send residents rushing into the streets in the capital Tirana, some holding babies in their arms.

The quake struck 10 km (6 miles) northwest of Shijak, Albania, between the port town of Durres and the capital, at a shallow depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Video footage posted on social media showed what appeared to be a collapsed building in Durres, 40 km west of Tirana, on the Adriatic coast. Other footage showed buildings with large cracks and fallen masonry.

Two government spokesmen told Reuters the biggest damage to buildings was in Durres and a few people had been taken to hospital in Tirana.

​Asked about loss of life, an Interior Ministry spokesman said: “I am told there is not any”.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 shook Albania on Sept. 21, damaging around 500 houses and destroying some. The Defence Ministry had said it was the most powerful quake in Albania in the last 30 years.

Reporting by Benet Koleka, writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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