Last Tuesday, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck central Albania, killing 51 people. 20,000 persons, including 9000 children, are affected. Tdh has been active since 1993 in the country and was able to react immediately. Ten days after the disaster, our teams continue to provide emergency assistance and psychosocial support to children and families.
In the early morning of Tuesday 26 November, the earth shook in Albania. Most people were still asleep. "I was so scared. I immediately jumped over my little brother to protect him from the bricks that were falling. I thought I would never see my mother again," says a 12-year-old girl.
Tirana, Durrës and Laç – three very populated locations – were the most affected areas: 51 people were killed and 750 wounded. Five thousand people are left without a roof. Most of them are sheltered in school gyms or hotels, sleep in tents or stay with relatives.
Tents set up for people whose homes have been destroyed.
"There are still many aftershocks. People, especially children, are traumatised and under constant tension and stress. They don't know when it will stop," explains Alketa Lask, Tdh Country Director for Albania. The cold temperatures and approaching winter make the situation even more difficult for families.
Terre des hommes has been working in Albania for more than 20 years, which made it possible for our teams to assist families immediately after the earthquake, in collaboration with the authorities and local partners. We distributed around a hundred blankets and hygiene equipment to people in need. In Durrës, Thumana and Shengjin, our social workers provide emergency psychosocial support to children and families who have not yet been able to return home, to help them overcome shock, anxiety and trauma.
Our teams continue to offer emergency assistance while assessing current needs. In the coming days, they will provide psychosocial support to affected families in Shkodra.