EU civil protection mechanism to provide assistance to Albanians hit by earthquake

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Publish Time: 2019-09-29 Author: From: Xinhua

TIRANA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) will provide assistance to Albanian people hit by an earthquake through its EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said here on Saturday.

Xhacka made the declaration at a joint press conference with the EU Delegation Ambassador to Tirana Luigi Soreca and the head of the EU civil protection team Peter Glerum.

The EU activated assistance to Tirana after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country on Sept. 21, injuring 148 people and damaging 1,500 houses and two health centers, five bridges and four power facilities.

According to Xhacka, the earthquake was the first test for the new Law on Civil Protection recently adopted by the Albanian Parliament.

"The new adopted law requires more work, coordination, transformation and institutional responsibility before it becomes truly functional," Xhacka said in her statement.

In his speech, Soreca praised the work of the Albanian authorities, which reacted promptly by establishing temporary evacuation centers for people displaced from their homes.

Soreca noted that eight EU Member States have offered assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism: Austria, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia. Norway and Montenegro are also contributing.

The earthquake, with an intensity of 7 to 8 at the epicenter, hit Albania on Sept. 21. The epicentre was in the Adriatic Sea, 30 kilometers north of the port city of Durres, the second most populous city in Albania.

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