Earthquake in Albania: families no longer have homes…

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Letter from the Redemptorist Mission of Kamëz, Albania

Dear friends:

In Albania, there were several earthquakes on the night of November 26th. The number of victims rises to 35 (there are likely to be more) and more than 600 injured. Families affected by the collapse of homes are being treated in Durres and Thumanë, the two most affected areas, where people continue to arrive. The night was quiet, although many families chose to sleep in the car or on the road for greater security.

On November 27, we were in Thumanë (about 20 km from the Redemptorist mission of Kamëz), one of the most affected centres, where victims are still being sought. There are 70 tents placed on the football field, but about 50 meters away they are still clearing, with families in front, waiting for news from their relatives. At the same time funerals are held and a funeral car is seen with coffins ready for use…

Chaos reigns in the soccer field, a makeshift reception centre, where there is absolutely no coordination. Politicians take pictures, but people, NGOs or other groups come with help and no one controls who receives them or who needs them. There is a small country hospital. There are people who can approach to ask for a mattress where they are stored, right in front of the football field, but others (invalid or elderly) have no one to approach them. There is also a need for structures that lift the mattresses off the floor because it is expected to rain within 20 hours.

And the problem is that the families don’t have a home, they can’t go back to their homes. Nor can they cook or wash clothes. We don’t know what will happen next week when they need a home. We have just passed another tremor measuring a magnitude of ≥ 5.6.

Thank you for your prayers and for not forgetting the forgotten and abandoned ones…

Laureano Del Otero Sevillano, CSsR.

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