Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings Tuesday after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least 14 people and injured more than 600.

The 6.4 magnitude quake was felt across the southern Balkans and was followed by multiple aftershocks. In nearby Bosnia, another temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck southeast of the capital and rattled Sarajevo. There were no immediate reports of casualties and only minor damage in that earthquake.

The quake in Albania collapsed at least three apartment buildings while people slept, and rescue crews were working to free people believed trapped. There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble.

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

“It is a dramatic moment where we should preserve calm, stay alongside each other to cope with this shock,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said.

The Health Ministry reported about 600 people had been injured, with some in serious condition.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.4 quake, which struck just before 4 a.m. local time, had an epicenter 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital, Tirana, at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles). Scores of aftershocks included three with preliminary magnitudes of between 5.1 and 5.4.

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

The Defense Ministry said seven bodies were pulled from rubble in the coastal city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana and five people were found dead in a collapsed apartment building in the northern town of Thumane. One person died after jumping from his home to escape in Kurbin, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital, while another person was killed on a road that collapsed in the northern town of Lezha.

“Durres and Thumane are the two worst hit localities, with great material damage and … tragically lives lost,” Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said in a televised statement. “Search and rescue work continues at all sites where buildings have collapsed.

“But these are extremely difficult operations, where you have to work slowly because there is a high risk of further collapse, endangering not only residents, but also those trapped, and the rescuers themselves.”

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

Local television stations showed footage of a young boy being pulled from a collapsed building in Durres after an excavator moved a broken slab of concrete and local men pulled mangled reinforcement bars out of the way. Hours later in a separate incident, live TV footage showed people cheering when another child was found alive in a collapsed building in Durres where a body had been found earlier.

Seismologist Rrapo Ormeni of Albania’s Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment, said a 6.4 quake was considered a strong one.

“Damage at the epicenter will be considerable because of its high energy, the magnitude it has,” Ormeni said. “Such kind of quakes are felt in a wider area due to its major depth and magnitude. It has been felt all around the territory of our country but also abroad, up to Bulgaria, Bosnia, Italy and other (countries).”

Rescuers carry an injured woman after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Rescuers carry an injured woman after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Rescue crews used excavators to search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least six people and injured more than 300. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

The quake was felt along the Albanian coast as well as neighboring Kosovo, Montenegro, Greece, and parts of southern Serbia.

Authorities reported scores of aftershocks — as strong as magnitude 5.5 — and called on people in the most affected areas to stay out of their homes and avoid driving in the affected areas to allow emergency vehicles free access. Many reported seeing cracks in their apartment walls.

Ormeni said there had been more than 150 aftershocks, and that this was expected to continue. The aftershocks could pose threats to buildings already damaged by the initial quakes but not yet toppled, and he warned people to stay away from buildings until authorities could confirm they were safe to enter.

Firefighters stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Firefighters stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

All government agencies were on alert and “intensively working to save lives at the fatal spots in Durres and Thumane,” Rama said. About 400 soldiers were setting up tents in Durres and in Fushe Kruje near Thumane in the north to house survivors left homeless by the quake.

Rama said neighboring countries, the European Union and the United States had offered help. By late morning, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Turkey, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia were sending rescue crews to Albania.

Greece was sending about 40 rescuers, with one 26-member search and rescue team with two sniffer dogs and specialized equipment flying from Athens to Tirana on board a military aircraft, while the second team was heading to the quake zone by road from northern Greece. Italy was sending specialized urban search and rescue teams from three Italian regions while Serbia, Romania, Turkey and Montenegro were also sending search-and-rescue teams.

Firefighters stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Firefighters stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

At least three apartment buildings and the power distribution station were damaged in Thumane.

An earthquake in September in roughly the same area damaged hundreds of homes.

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A bulldozer operates on a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
A bulldozer operates on a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

Llazar Semini reported from Tirana. Elena Becatoros and Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece, contributed to this report.

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A man passes next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
A man passes next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
People stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
People stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
People stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
People stand next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A strong earthquake has shaken Albania, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
People search at a damaged hotel after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
People search at a damaged hotel after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
People stand next to a damaged hotel after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
People stand next to a damaged hotel after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
People look at a damaged building after an earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has shaken Albania. The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana. It was at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). (AP Photo)
People look at a damaged building after an earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has shaken Albania. The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana. It was at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). (AP Photo)
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake has shaken Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake has shaken Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake has shaken Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A powerful earthquake has shaken Albania early Tuesday, causing at least minor damage. (AP Photo)
A man speaks on his cellphone as others look at a damaged building after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has shaken Albania. The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana. It was at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). (AP Photo)
A man speaks on his cellphone as others look at a damaged building after an earthquake, in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has shaken Albania. The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana. It was at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). (AP Photo)
A strong earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.4 quake was centered northwest of the capital, Tirana. (Nov. 26)
A strong earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.4 quake was centered northwest of the capital, Tirana. (Nov. 26)

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