A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the EMSC and USGS as M5.6 hit near capital Tirana, Albania (population 375 000) at 14:04 UTC on September 21, 2019 (16:04 LT) at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). There are more than 2 540 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles). The quake was followed by M5.1 at 14:15 UTC and more than 200 aftershocks over the next 24 hours.
2 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 215 000 very strong, 764 000 strong and 245 000 moderate.
This is the strongest quake to hit Albania in the last 30 years, country's Ministry of Defence said, adding that over 500 houses and 100 apartment buildings suffered damages at a different scale.
105 people were injured in Tirana and Durres. 12 of them are hospitalized as of September 22.
Health Minister said most were hurt while running out of their homes in panic.
Structural damage included large cracks in the sides of buildings, fallen air conditioning units, chunks of masonry breaking away, crushed cars, and broken items inside people’s homes, Exit.al reports.
Albania earthquakes September 21 – 22, 2019. Credit: Google, TW/SAM
M5.6 earthquake near Tirana, Albania on September 21, 2019. Credit: Google, TW/SAM
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Albania.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick with timber floor and nonductile reinforced concrete frame construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.