It took the earthquake a full two minutes to hit Dubrovnik. At exactly 3:54 am a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck 19 miles west of the Albanian capital, Tirana, and at exactly 3:56 am that same earthquake rumbled through Dubrovnik awaking residents, shaking buildings and causing pictures to crash to the ground.
It has been announced as one of the worst earthquakes to hit Albania in decades, killing six people and injuring over 150. This latest quake comes just a few months after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the country.
And it was one of the strongest earthquakes to be felt in Dubrovnik for years, even though the epicentre was over 270 kilometres (167 miles) away. And it wasn’t only Dubrovnik that felt the quake. All along the Dalmatian coast, from Split to Zadar and Sibenik, reports are coming in of people having an early morning wake-up call as the Albanian earthquake rolled through.
Epicentre near Albania capital
Two minutes was all it took to travel the 270 kilometres, that 135 kilometres a minute, from Tirana to Dubrovnik.
“That’s the worst tremor I have felt in years and years, I even jumped out of bed and stood in the doorway as we were taught to do at school,” commented a Dubrovnik resident. She also admitted to not going back to bed after the quake as, “my heart was beating so fast and adrenaline pumping.”
She remembered the terrible earthquake in Dubrovnik in 1979 when over 1,000 buildings were destroyed in the 7.2-magnitude quake. It was reported at the time as the strongest earthquake ever to hit the city, stronger than the earthquake of 1667 which flattened two-thirds of the Old City of Dubrovnik.
And then came the aftershock. According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre the aftershock earthquake recorded 5.3 of the Richter Scale. This same shock again vibrated Dubrovnik and the whole region. And Dubrovnik wasn’t alone, it is estimated that over 12 million people felt the Albanian earthquake. Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia and even Italy have all reported feeling this morning’s quake.