Thoughts in all of Europe and the rest of the world are currently with Albania. A devastating earthquake hit the country a couple of days ago, killing 50 people and injuring almost 1,000. The crisis has affected the entire country, including the annual Festivali i Këngës.
Strongest earthquake in 40 years
For Albania, the 6.4-magnitude strike was the worst earthquake to hit the country in over forty years. Port city Durrës and close by village Kodër-Thumanë suffered the worst damage from the earthquake. In both Durrës and the capital Tirana, a state of emergency was declared soon after the earthquake.
In total, over 2,500 have lost their homes. They currently stay in tents, hotels and the Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës. As a result of the disaster, both Albania and Kosovo declared last Wednesday a national day of mourning. Two of the victims came from Kosovo.
The international community soon responded to the crisis in Albania. The United Nations announced they would be sending two disaster experts to the Balkan country. Several countries have also decided to help out financially.
Artists support Albania
Financial aid is crucial in Albania right now, which is why several world famous pop stars have made calls to contribute. British-Kosovar stars Rita Ora and Dua Lipa have publicly expressed their support for Albania. Bebe Rexha, also of Kosovar descent, has opened a GoFundMe account to raise money. So far, she has raised over $66,000.
Aside from these three world famous ladies, Albania’s Eurovision stars have also responded. Kejsi Tola stated on her Instagram that her “heart has no words” for the tragedy, with Lindita calling for donations to the big GoFundMe page:
Festivali i Këngës affected
Since its debut in the contest, Albania have always selected their entry through the traditional Festivali i Këngës. The final of the Albanian competition is set to take place on 22nd December, with the first two shows on 19th and 20th December respectively.
The list of participants was revealed a while ago, with familiar names such as Olta Boka and Elvana Gjata featuring on there. RTSH announced that the songs would be published a couple of weeks before the actual show. That means the Albanian broadcaster should’ve released the songs sometime this week.
However, with the current tragedy in Albania, it may just be that RTSH is going to delay the publication of all these entries. With a day of mourning just having passed and many people in the country wounded or homeless, it may not be the best fit to publish songs already.
The thoughts of the ESCXTRA.com Team are with Albania and its inhabitants, as well as with the victims of this disaster and their loved ones.