The 6.4 magnitude quake, the deadliest in decades, tore down buildings near the Adriatic coast while people were sleeping on Tuesday morning. Experts from around Europe have arrived to help shovel away slabs of collapsed apartments and search beneath the wreckage with dogs and specialised cameras.
Captain Joel Leroy, a French rescuer said there may be hope for up to eight or ten days for victims to live after an earthquake. Emergency workers are working in perilous conditions as hundreds of aftershocks rattle buildings, interrupting the efforts.
Thousands of people have been displaced, either because their homes were severely damaged or because they were still unsafe due to the continuing aftershocks.
Prime Minister Edi Rama has promised to rehouse the newly homeless by next year. Illegal construction is rife in Albania, one of Europe’s poorest countries.