Bulgaria to grant 200 000 leva to aid Albania recover from earthquake

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry is to grant 200 000 leva (about 100 000 euro) to assist Albania’s recovery from the November 26 earthquake and aftershocks that left 14 people dead, injured more than 150 people and destroyed buildings and roads.

This was announced by Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, who said that she would table the grant for approval at a scheduled weekly Cabinet meeting on November 27.

The earthquake, of 6.4 on the Richter scale and which was followed by three major aftershocks, is reported to be the worst to hit Albania since 1979.

Earlier on November 26, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said that Bulgaria was ready, if requested by Albania, to send search and rescue teams, dogs, equipment and medical teams.

The Foreign Ministry said that so far it has no information that any Bulgarians were killed or injured in the quake.

Bulgarian leaders, including Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, President Roumen Radev, National Assembly Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva, and Zaharieva, have sent condolences to their counterparts in Albania.

The early-morning earthquake was also felt in Bulgaria, most noticeably on the high floors of buildings in Sofia, Pernik, Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil.

On November 26, the European Commission said that it had activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism at Albania’s request. At the time of the early afternoon announcement, search and rescue teams from Italy, Greece and Romania were already on their way.

Hungary, Germany, Croatia, France, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Turkey had by that point offered assistance via the European Civil Protection Mechanism, the Commission said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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