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 Albania Earthquake:At least 49 dead and around 900 people are injured

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Relatives of people whose homes were destroyed in Albania's most powerful earthquake in decades are awaiting news, as rescuers find more bodies in the rubble and the death toll rises to 49 and more than 900 people were injured in the disaster and rescue teams from Serbia, Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey and Croatia are helping with the search.

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Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama has declared a state of emergency - enabling more funds and security - in the coastal city of Durres and the inland town of Thumane, the two areas worst affected.

Sniffer dogs are being used to help find people trapped beneath the rubble and military officers have joined the rescue efforts.

So far, 45 people have been recovered alive from different locations and are receiving hospital treatment. But one person who was pulled alive from the rubble in Thumane later died from his injuries.

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But whole families have perished and hundreds of people have been injured as a result of the earthquake and a series of powerful aftershocks.

Flags are flying at half-mast on public buildings around the country as Albania observes a national day of mourning

The quake struck 34km (21 miles) north-west of the Albanian capital, Tirana, during the early hours of the morning as most people were asleep. Most of the deaths occurred in Durres and Thumane, close to the epicentre.

Prime Minister Rama has promised that rescuers will "continue to search patiently and thoroughly to the end", and said that all those affected would be sheltered in hotels until the government had rebuilt their homes.

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