Many injured as natural disaster topples buildings in Croatia

Wednesday, 30 Dec, 2020

A powerful 6.4-magnitude quake struck central Croatia on Tuesday, according to the US Geological Survey, with local rescue crews reporting widespread damage near the epicentre in the town of Petrinja and the surrounding area.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed their solidarity with the Croatian people and its government, after the country was hit by a strong quake on Tuesday.

A devastating natural disaster measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale and VII-IX degrees on the EMS scale, with its epicentre 5 kilometres southwest of Petrinja, struck at 12.19 on Tuesday, the Seismology Service reported on Tuesday.

Images from the scene on social media and local television stations showed streets strewn with rubble, buildings with roofs caved in and rescue crews rushing through the streets.

Tuesday's quake comes a day after a smaller tremor struck in the same area.

Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services, said many people had been injured. "We have dead children", Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović said, according to AP.

In Petrinja, streets were littered with fallen bricks and dust and many houses were completely destroyed. The same area was struck by a 5.2 quake on Monday. "We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here".

"The Commission is in contact with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the Croatian authorities".

Earthquake in Croatia
Croatia Hit By Powerful 6.4 Earthquake

As a Mediterranean country, Croatia is prone to earthquakes, but big quakes are rare.

N1 also said a kindergarten was destroyed in the quake but there had been no children in it.

A man and a boy were pulled out alive from a vehicle buried in rubble and sent to a hospital.

Slovenia's STA news agency said that the country's sole nuclear power plant Krško, which is 100 km from the epicenter, was shut down as a precaution.

On March 22, three large earthquakes shook Zagreb, toppling one of the two spires on the capital's cathedral and damaging thousands of buildings, while several dozen people were injured.

It is co-owned by Slovenia and Croatia.

In Zagreb, people ran out into the streets and parks in fear.