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US-based engineers’ group to assess damages in earthquake affected areas

TIRANA, Dec. 3 – A group of young Albanian-American engineers, members of the Association of Architects, arrived in Albania on Monday to join efforts of assessing the damage of the November 26 earthquake and restoring the most damaged cities to normal life.

Members of the group are engineers Sokol Huta, Kreshnik Zalli, Malivin Ndoci, Ediant Martinaj, Ilir Dulaj and Delin Bixha.

Their trip from the US to Albania was facilitated by New York City Councilman Mark Gjonaj.

Gjonaj and Deputy Chief of Staff Vera Mjeku supported the engineers’ initiative and coordinated the activity with the local government.

Engineers say they felt it was their duty to provide assistance to earthquake-damaged families, as well as their financial assistance and professional expertise in this difficult situation in Albania following the November 26 earthquake. 

They pledged to do their best in evaluating Albania’s school buildings.

Albania was hit severely by the November 26 earthquake, mainly in Durres and Thumana, as well as in the many towns and villages around them.

Teaching has been interrupted in a number of schools within declared emergency areas, but many residents are also reluctant to return to their homes pending a professional assessment of damaged buildings.

Schools have also been affected by the damages according to what Minister of Education Besa Shahini referred to today at the government meeting. 

The minister later announced that the suspension of classes would continue for several days in the affected towns: “In the Durres District, Durres, Shijak and Kruja municipalities, the teaching remains suspended until December 9th, Kamza, Kavaja and Rrogozhina, as well as in the District of Lezha, which includes the municipalities of Lezha, Kurbin and Mirdita, the teaching will be suspended until December 5, but we can postpone it for a few more days if we are not guaranteed that are structurally safe.” 

 

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