Albania: Earthquake – Final report (MDRAL008) – Albania
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
On November 26, 2019, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Albania at 3:54 a.m. local time, centered 30 km west of Tirana, at a depth of 10 km. A second magnitude 5.4 earthquake followed at 7:10 a.m. with the epicenter near Durres (34 km northwest of Tirana) and aftershocks (with a peak above magnitude 4) over the weeks following. According to official sources, a total of 51 people lost their lives1 and 913 people were injured. The Albanian government (GoA) declared a state of emergency on November 27 for 30 days, then extended until March 31, 2020.
The most affected administrative regions were the prefectures of Durrës, Lezhë and Tiranë. Structural damage was widespread, but concentrated on older buildings and those constructed with poor construction practices in the transition zone of the 1990s and early 2000s. Other administrative areas considered secondarily affected are those where people have been affected. evacuated by the government, including Berat, Dibër, Elbasan, Fier, Kukës, Shkodra and Vlorë (minor damage is reported in several villages in some of these prefectures).
The structural damage assessment by Albanian experts and supported by international capacities was completed in mid-February. The post-disaster needs assessment indicates that 5,080 buildings (including apartment buildings, single-family homes, hotels, schools, infrastructure, etc.) were classified under DS4 and DS5, which is equivalent to be uninhabitable. In the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), a total of 11,490 dwellings were classified as fully destroyed / to be demolished.
On November 29, 2019, the IFRC launched an emergency appeal which was revised in February 2020, bringing the total budget to CHF 5,100,000 and extending the deadline to 12 months. The objective was to support the immediate needs, early and medium term resumption of the initial operation. The deadline for the appeal has been extended by three months until February 28, 2021 due to the implications created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic
March 9, 2020, as the Albanian Red Cross proceeded to register households and identify target groups for cash and voucher assistance (CVA) – until March 8, 820 families were assessed – the GoA announced the first two cases of COVID-19 in Albania, imposing restrictions throughout Albanian territory for the movement of people, vehicles, gatherings, the closure of all schools; cancellation of flights, initially until June 1, 2020.
However, immediately after the lockdown was announced, the ARC was granted unrestricted authorization to conduct its humanitarian activities, and on April 1, 2020, the household registration process for the CVA resumed and was completed in May 2020 with some 1,626 interviews with households carried out. in all affected areas.
Due to the epidemic, some PHC and health activities initially planned that were community-based were also affected and could not be carried out as initially planned. The number of volunteers planned to be trained on PSS and health had to be reduced, to meet the standard protocol for the COVID-19 situation in Albania, which means that the maximum number of people gathered should not exceed 10. PSS interventions which have been changed due to the new circumstances have been maintained, mainly online and through social media channels in order to mitigate the impact of the earthquake as well as the impact of COVID-19 and its restrictions at the same time.