Greece sending help to Albania as death toll hits 21 following devastating quake

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has recently ordered for search and rescue assistance to be dispatched to Albania, following a destructive earthquake in the early hours of the day that has claimed at least 21 lives and injured hundreds.

An EMAK disaster response team is traveling to the neighbouring country to help with search-and-rescue efforts in the most affected parts of the country, including the port town of Durres, where several buildings have reportedly collapsed.

Mitsotakis also spoke on the telephone with his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, expressing condolences over the loss of life and destruction caused by the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, which struck shortly before 4 a.m. local time, 30 kilometres northwest of the capital Tirana.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also announced that he will be heading to Tirana within the day to help in any way he can, adding in a post on Twitter that he has already spoken with Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis to coordinate search-and-rescue efforts with the Albanian authorities.

According to a recent Ministry of Defense report, the death count has hit 21, with most of the casualties being in Durres and the town of Thumani, north of Tirana. In the neighbouring town of Kurbin, a 50-year-old man was killed when he jumped from the balcony of his home. Another man died in a road accident as the road receded due to the earthquake.

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