Merkel promises aid to Albanian quake victims

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday promised help to Albania following an earthquake that killed several dozen people in the small Balkan state.

“Germany and the European Union will support you at this difficult time,” Merkel promised.

In a condolence telegram to Prime Minister Edi Rama, she expressed her deep sympathy to the families of the victims and to the Albanian government. “I know about the pain that you and your own family have also experienced,” she wrote.

The partner of Rama’s son was also reportedly killed in Tuesday’s quake, the worst to hit Albania in decades.

Fifty people were killed and more than 650 injured. Rescuers stopped searching for buried victims on Saturday.

According to the government, the quake with a magnitude of 6.4 damaged almost 2,000 buildings.

The Institute of Geosciences in Tirana said the epicentre was located 10 kilometres north of the western port city of Durres and 30 kilometres west of the capital Tirana.

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