Hopes fade for any more survivors in Albania quake; 46 dead

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Rescue workers search for survivors following an earthquake, in Durres, Albania, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. Rescue crews with excavators searched for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings Tuesday after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least 16 people and injured more than 600. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

DURRES – Hopes were fading Thursday of finding anyone else alive beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania, two days after a deadly quake struck the country's Adriatic coast killing at least 46 people and injuring more than 2,000.

By Thursday afternoon, search operations were winding down, and focused on one collapsed villa that housed an extended family in the port city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana, police at the site said.

The bodies of five people had already been recovered from the house from which the sole survivor so far was a 17-year-old boy rescued from beneath the rubble. Rescuers continued searching for three more missing family members.

Search operations in the nearby town of Thumane, also badly hit by the quake, ended early Thursday after six more bodies were recovered overnight from a collapsed apartment building.

The Health Ministry said more than 2,000 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn Tuesday as people slept, trapping dozens in collapsed apartment buildings. More than 60 people remain hospitalized, four in serious condition.

The main quake has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including at least three with magnitudes of above 5.0, complicating rescue efforts.

Another aftershock, with a magnitude of 4.9, rattled the area midday Thursday, sending people fleeing into the streets in panic. At least one building suffered further damage from the aftershock, while mourners rushed from a building where they had gathered for the start of funeral ceremonies for some of the victims.

In some cases, entire families were killed in the earthquake.