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Prosecution offices in Albania have launched an investigation into possible criminal offenses related to the collapsed and damaged buildings following the November 26 earthquake that left 51 dead, local media said on Monday, as cited by Chinaʼs Xinhua news agency.

A damaged building in Durrës, Albania on December 1, 2019 following the November 26 earthquake. Photo by Zhan.88/

The prosecutors launched investigations in the Durres, Tirana and Kruja districts into alleged offenses of “abuse of office” and “illegal construction.” The investigators will concentrate first on the collapsed buildings in Durres and Kruja and will then move on to Durres and the capital Tirana.

The prosecutors are investigating whether the consequences of the devastating earthquake were due to unauthorized construction, the failure of engineers to perform their duties or the failure of civil servants to supervise construction.

At least 4,000 people remain homeless nearly a week after a devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Albania. The earthquake directly affected 100,000 people, according to the Albanian Red Cross.

Aftershocks continue to rock the region and many people are still in evacuation centers and camps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported.