Southern Europe has been hit by its third major earthquake in days after a powerful undersea tremor rocked the Greek holiday island of Crete.
The US Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 for the quake, which occurred on Wednesday morning at a depth of 44 miles and was also felt on the southern mainland of Greece.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries or major damage to buildings.
Just experienced my first Earthquake here in Crete about 20 mins ago Magnitude 6.0 . 40km away depth 56km. Scary .— John Holland (@jdutchman) November 27, 2019
The 6.4 magnitude quake was felt across the southern Balkans early on Tuesday and was followed by multiple aftershocks.
Just hours later in nearby Bosnia, another tremor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck south-east of the capital and rattled Sarajevo.
There were no immediate reports of casualties and only minor damage in that earthquake.
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Tuesday’s quake in Albania knocked down apartment buildings and hotels while people slept, and rescue crews worked late into the evening to free people who were believed to be trapped.
There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble, and neighbouring countries and EU nations sent search-and-rescue crews to help.
Local television stations in the early hours after the quake showed footage of a young boy being rescued from a collapsed building in the coastal town of Durres, 20 miles west of the capital, Tirana.
The boy was shown crying and shouting in pain as local men pulled mangled reinforcement bars out of the way while trying to try to free his leg from the rubble.
Hours later, live TV footage showed people cheering as another child was found alive in a collapsed building in Durres, where a body had been located earlier in the day.
In total, 43 people had been rescued from the rubble of buildings by Tuesday evening.
The Albanian health ministry reported that about 600 people had been injured, including nine taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The government on Wednesday declared a day of mourning for the victims, saying flags would be flown at half-mast.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.4 quake, which struck just before 4am local time, had an epicentre 19 miles north-west of Tirana at a depth of 12 miles.
The scores of aftershocks included three with preliminary magnitudes of between 5.1 and 5.4.
The worst-hit areas were Durres, where 11 of the dead were found in collapsed buildings, and the northern town of Thumane, where another seven bodies were pulled from the rubble, according to the defence ministry.
In total at least three hotels, a residential villa and an apartment building collapsed in Durres, and one apartment building in Thumane.
One person died after jumping from his home to escape in Kurbin, 30 miles north of the capital, while another person was killed on a road that collapsed in the northern town of Lezha.