Several earthquakes shook the Balkan state of Albania, causing injuries and property damage. The Albanian Ministry of Health reported 68 injured. Twenty-one of them had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained by falling objects or collapsing walls. Others came to the hospital for panic attacks. According to a spokeswoman for the Albanian Ministry of Defense, there were no deaths.

Thus, the heaviest earthquake that occurred on Saturday afternoon had a magnitude of 5.8. This was followed by two aftershocks, each with a magnitude of 5.1 and 4.7. According to the ministry, the epicenter of the first quake was at Cape Rodon north of the port city of Durres. It is "the strongest earthquake in Albania for 20 to 30 years," said the Ministry spokeswoman. As a result, buildings in the capital Tirana were damaged, but did not collapse. A particularly badly damaged large building was evacuated.

Even in the neighboring countries to feel

According to media reports, the tremors caused panic, especially in Durrës and Tirana. Many people ran to the street in shock. The Municipality of Tirana announced that Emergency Teams would be available throughout the city if needed. The quakes were also reported to be felt in neighboring Montenegro and northern Macedonia.

Photos show severe damage to the building, for example at the University of Tirana's Geology Department. Fallen stones and other debris destroyed cars there. Another building in the capital had a vertical crack across several floors. The power supply and telephone connections were interrupted in many places, even in the capital.

Albania's prime minister stays away from the UN General Assembly

Serious injuries she had not seen during her visit to the emergency room of the accident hospital in Tirana, said the Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu the state news agency ATA . Prime Minister Edi Rama canceled his participation in the UN General Assembly in New York on the earthquake series. He interrupted his journey in Frankfurt to return to Albania, as ATA reported , citing government agencies.

The Mediterranean is one of the most active earthquake regions in Europe. There, the African and Eurasian continental plates move towards each other, causing tensions that erupt in earthquakes, as a geophysicist at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) said. Added to this would be so-called microplates such as the Adriatic plate, whose border runs, inter alia, on Albania's coast.

However, earthquakes like that in Albania are "not on the agenda" on the Adriatic coast, said the BGR expert. Recently there had been similar violent earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.2 on 1 June in the southeast of the country. Also here were "considerable damage".