On 26 of November 2019 an earthquake of 6.4 Richter magnitude hit Albania causing enormous damages in Durresi, Tirana, Lezha and Kruja. To date, 51 people have lost their lives; around 1,000 people have been injured; and at least 9,000 are homeless. Much of the buildings and infrastructure have been destroyed and reconstruction will take a long time. There continues to be aftershocks reverberating in the surrounding areas of the epicenter resulting in further destruction.
Immediately following the earthquake, BWI affiliates in Albania---Independent Trade Union of Construction Worker’s and Public Service of Albania (SPPNSHPSH) and the Trade Union Federation of Building, Wood and Public Services in Albania (FSNDSH)---mobilized their members to support their members in the damaged regions.
The Albanian people have already received a significant support and solidarity from a number of countries including the European Union, United States, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Italy, Turkey, France, Romania, Switzerland, Israel, Croatia, and Serbia. They have helped in addressing the immediate situation by sending rescue teams, distributing food, clothes, tents, and sleeping mats and sheets. Within the country, many Albanians have opened their homes to families impacted by the earthquake.
“On behalf of BWI, I would like extend my sincerest condolences to the people of Albania in this difficult time and in particular to the friends and families of our Albanian affiliates who have been immediately impacted by the earthquake. We will continue to support their efforts as they rebuild and recover from the recent devastation.” stated Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI.