Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The mayor of the Albanian city of Durres has resigned after commenting that she is “pleased with 50 victims” from last week’s devastating earthquake.
Reports said that the death toll stands at 51 after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit western Albania on Tuesday last week, devastating the regions of Durres, Thumana and Tirana.
It was the European country’s biggest earthquake in 40 years and the region was still experiencing aftershocks two days later, according to local media.
The mayor of Durres Valbona Sako said in a TV interview: “It was a devastating earthquake, but we have to be pleased with 50 victims because in other cases it has been over 1,000.”
After her statement, another victim passed away and the death toll stands at 51.
Her comment sparked outrage and Sako tried to explain that her words were taken out of context as even a single victim is a tragedy as well.
However, most of the victims came from the city of Durres and it was one of the worst hit areas.
The city mayor announced that she was resigning her post on Facebook due to the stress she had been suffering as a result of the negative backlash.
The 51st victim has been identified as 20-year-old Jessica Biqiku who had been struck on the head by falling debris in Tirana.
In Thumana, one tragic family lost six members under the rubble of their building and only two survived.
Last week, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed that his future daughter-in-law Kristi Reci, 24, died with her parents and brother in the city of Durres.
Hundreds of people still remain injured and thousands are said to be homeless as the country deals with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
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