Albania: Earthquake Operations Update no. 1 - Emergency appeal n° MDRAL008


Description of the disaster

Since the earthquake struck on 26 November, resulting in 51 deaths and up to 750 people injured, the Albanian Red Cross have been continuing to respond to the needs of the people affected. Aftershocks have decreased in magnitude but are still ongoing. As of 14 December, up to 12,181 people were reported to be living in temporary accommodation (excluding those hosted by relatives or friends): 7,383 in tents (a majority of them in spotted tents in rural areas, close to their individual houses), 4,149 in hotels, 395 in community centres and 254 in gymnasiums. As of 17 December, all tent camps have been closed. The most affected administrative regions are Durrës, Kruje, Tiranë and Lezhë. A structural damage assessment by Albanian experts, supported by international capacities, is expected to be completed by 31 December.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society Albanian Red Cross (ARC) was established in 1921 and is active in community-based disaster awareness, preparedness and response activities, with a focus on first aid, assessments, community outreach, health and hygiene promotion activities.

Volunteers from the ARC arrived immediately to the disaster site after the earthquake to provide support to the affected population. The ARC has been responding in the areas of First Aid, food support, psychosocial support, water and sanitation, shelter (household items) and Restoring Family Links (RFL).

The National Society is currently continuing its response with a total of 350 volunteers and staff, with a focus on relief distributions (shelter items, food, hygiene material) and psychosocial support (PSS). Primary regions of activity are the prefectures of Durrës (Durrës city, Shijak), Tirana (Vorë), Lezhë (Laç, Shëngjin), and Kruja (Thumane). As of 19 December, ARC is actively present in 58 different locations spread all over the affected area (9 previously active locations have been closed). Ten branches are actively involved in response operations. ARC is distributing items from its own stock and incoming in-kind assistance.1 ARC response as of 19 December is indicated in the figure below: