Following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake and the numerous aftershocks that hit Albania since 26 November, the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated at the request of the Albanian authorities. The EU helped mobilise three teams from Greece, Italy and Romania to assist search and rescue operations.
On 28 November, the Albanian authorities activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism again requesting structural engineers to assess damages to buildings. Italy and Greece made offers to help Albania in this regard.
In addition, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism Team is working closely with local authorities and donors on a consolidated needs assessment with prioritisation of in-kind assistance. Yesterday evening, the EU Delegation chaired a meeting with EU Member States, non-EU countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and international partners and organisations (UN agencies, USAID…) on the emergency response.
“The European Union continues to support Albania at this challenging time. We will provide emergency help for as long as needed. Search and rescue teams, mobilised through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, are on the ground. I would like to thank Italy and Greece for already offering additional support through the Mechanism.” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca stated today: "The European Union and its Member States are standing with Albania and working non-stop to provide assistance in this very difficult moment. Experts from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and ten EU Member States are currently on the ground to assist central and local authorities. It is a week of deep sorrow and tragedy for Albania. Our heartfelt condolences go once again to the Albanian people and especially to the families, friends and communities of those who have lost their lives."
"The European Union has sent a Civil Protection Team, which is helping the authorities coordinate the response and assess the damage. Our aim is to help the people of Albania who are suffering from the impact of this earthquake", said Team Leader Peter Glerum. The European Civil Protection Team is based at the EU Delegation in Tirana and includes experts from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Two experts from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) are also seconded to the team.
The European Copernicus system regularly produces satellite images of the affected zones to help assistance on the ground. The European Union's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in constant contact with the Albanian authorities and continues to monitor the situation.