Our Moravian brothers and sisters in Albania, along with their fellow countrymen and women, were jolted awake at around 4:00 A.M. on Tuesday, November 26 by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that has caused loss of life, injuries, and significant property and infrastructure damage. As of this posting at least 21 persons have lost their life, and 650 persons receiving medical treatment for injuries. These numbers will only rise as time moves forward to allow for search and rescue teams to do their work.
The Moravian work in Albania began in 1993 when Danish missionaries with Lutheran and Moravian support arrived to do Bible Studies and organize church work. Today there are around 300 members of the Moravian Church in Albania. One of the Moravian Church leaders, sister Dena Fortuzi, reports that members and leaders of the church are safe. Some of the buildings are cracked, but she says that this is nothing compared to what is happening in the city of Durres, where the epicenter was. Sister Dena lives in the capital city of Tirana.
According to the US Geological Survey the epicenter was about 20 miles northwest of the Tirana, but only 15 miles northeast of the coastal city of Durres.
The Moravian work in Albania is part of the European Continental Province and we in North America will be cooperating with them as they coordinate and mobilize aid to those who have been impacted by this disaster.
In the mean time we ask your prayers for those who are currently suffering as a result of this earthquake from loss of shelter, food, or water. We pray also for the first responders who are now seeking find survivors amidst the rubble, provide emergency medical care, and maintain peace in a very chaotic situation.
We hope to be providing regular updates on the situation in Albania as well as how the Northern and Southern Provinces can be helping our Moravian brothers and sisters who live there.