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4.2 magnitude quake shakes Albania, sparks fear, no damage

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A magnitude-4.2 earthquake hit western Albania on Monday causing panic among the population but no injuries or material damage has been reported so far. The Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment, the country’s seismical agency said the quake hit at 1521 GMT at Kuraten village, 34 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Tirana.

The Defense Ministry said preliminary information revealed no damage. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the preliminary magnitude at 4.5. Many people in Tirana left their homes fearing a repeat of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake in November that killed 51 people and left some 17,000 people homeless around the country.

Albania has started rebuilding many of the destroyed buildings after securing a 1.15 billion Euro ($1.3 billion) funding committment from international donors.

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