“On behalf of everyone, I express my gratitude to Turkey and President Erdogğn,” said Rama.
“Turkey is a big and powerful country. We are a small and weak country. But whenever Turkey needs, we will be there. Albanian people will never forget Turkey’s help,” he said as he examined search and rescue operations being carried out at a hotel in the beach area of Durres.
He also said more than 30 people were killed and 600 people wounded but warned casualties may increase.
The death toll from the magnitude-6.3 quake Tuesday in western Albania rose to 31, according to the country’s defense ministry. The health authority announced that 658 were injured, eight seriously.
Turkey’s disaster agency on Nov. 27 dispatched rescue teams and humanitarian aid.
Fifteen search and rescue experts are currently working in Durres, the epicenter of the quake, in hopes of saving those trapped under debris, said a statement by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).
Health Ministry rescue teams are giving medical aid to quake victims, while the Turkish Red Crescent and AFAD humanitarian teams are providing a helping hand by pitching tents and other activities.
Alongside aid and recovery workers, trucks loaded with dozens of tents, hygiene kits and thousands of blankets were dispatched.
A total of 23 Turkish citizens were also evacuated from the quake-hit region and taken by helicopter to a hospital in Turkey’s Aegean Izmir province.
On Nov. 26, Albania was hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. According to the latest reports, the death toll climbed to 30 and more than 650 others were wounded while scores of buildings collapsed.
So far, 45 people have been saved by national and international rescue teams.
The aid was reportedly the first to arrive from any country since the quake.
Hurriyet Daily News