Albanian families buried their loved ones on Friday and the country mourned the 49 people known to have died in this week’s earthquake, as officials grapple with the destruction left in its wake.
Entire families were crushed by their homes when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake — the most deadly and devastating in decades — jolted the Balkan country before dawn on Tuesday.
In the town of Thumane, where numerous buildings collapsed, loved ones wept before the six wooden coffins of the Cara family and three more belonging to the Greku family.
The victims were among more than 20 people whose bodies were pulled from ruins in Thumane, where a sombre silence reigned on Friday after the frenzy of the search effort had ceased a day earlier.
“Respect the dead,” said Fatmir, a relative of the Cara family, shooing away media.
Prime Minister Edi Rama attended the funerals, kneeling down to toss dirt on the coffins in a local custom of respect.
In a message of condolences posted on Facebook, he wrote in Albanian “You will never be alone”.