350 Houses, 10 Apartment Blocks Uninhabitable in Tirana, Analysis Underway

350 houses and 10 apartment blocks have been identified as uninhabitable in capital Tirana until last night, following the November 26 earthquake that left 51 dead in Albania.

Head of the Emergency Department at the Municipality of Tirana Erind Bejko said that over 350 more apartment blocks in Tirana are in need of verification, while 200 have been already inspected.

He stated that the damage in some buildings had added to that of another earthquake two months ago, and that a school in Tirana needed to be demolished because of heavy damage.

Two months ago, after a previous earthquake in September, Mayor Veliaj announced he had set a regional record in assessing damages, which Exit News interviews with foreign experts seemed to contradict. They said a proper assessment of the buildings’ condition should be carried out by experts, not by any municipal employee, and that within the short time announced by the mayor, proper verifications could have hardly been performed.

According to municipality officials, there have been constant calls and requests from citizens to verify their housing, and reported figures are constantly changing.

Specialized voluntary groups were organized by the Association of Architects yesterday, and they have started to examine and analyze in more detail the structural and technical damage to buildings in Tirana.

Prime Minister Edi Rama also presented some preliminary damage assessments during today’ government meeting but he failed to specify the number of uninhabitable buildings.

Rama said 1192 houses in Tirana incurred serious damage, 265 apartment blocks need to be checked, 8 schools and a medical center were also damaged.