A 6.4 magnitude powerful earthquake hit Albania, bringing down buildings and leaving people trapped under rubble.
At least six people have died. One man died after jumping from a window in panic, a defence ministry spokeswoman confirmed. Some 150 people were hurt.
The quake hit 34 km northwest of the capital, Tirana, early on Tuesday morning.
It was felt across the region, in Italy and in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, almost 700 km away.
Emergency workers told Albanian media that one of the dead was an elderly woman who had managed to save her grandson by cradling him with her body.
Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Twitter: “We have victims. We are working to do everything possible in the affected areas.”
Firefighters and army personnel were called to help residents caught under the rubble in the coastal city of Durres, where three were killed.
Two of those who died were in the town of Thumane, 40km to the north west of Tirana and close to the epicentre of the earthquake. There were fears that more people were trapped under rubble.
There have been a number of aftershocks, including one of 5.3 magnitude, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said. The Balkans is in an area prone to seismic activity.
Tuesday’s earthquake has been described by authorities as the strongest to hit Albania in 20-30 years.
In 1979, a magnitude 6.9 quake hit Albania leaving 136 dead and more than one thousand injured.