European Union mobilises emergency assistance for earthquake-hit Croatia

Saturday, 02 Jan, 2021

A day earlier on Monday, a magnitude 5.2 natural disaster hit central Croatia, also near Petrinja.

Destroyed buildings are pictured after an natural disaster in Petrinja, Croatia, Dec. 30, 2020.

A 6.4-magnitude quake rocked the region of Petrinja, one of Croatia's poorest, on Tuesday killing seven people and shaking buildings already weakened by a moderate tremor a day earlier. "We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here".

At least 20 people were injured, Croatian police said, while at least six were rescued alive Tuesday from the wreckage.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is monitoring developments in the aftermath of the 6.4-magnitude natural disaster yesterday in Petrinja".

The temblor, which rattled Europeans as far away as Rome and Vienna, was more powerful than a 5.2 quake on Monday and a similar-sized tremor that hit the capital of Zagreb in March.

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

Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services, said many people had been injured.

Local media said a kindergarten in the area was also destroyed in the badly hit village of Petrinja, but that there were no children in it at the time.

"I hope that the authorities of the country, with the help of the worldwide community, will soon be able to alleviate the suffering of the dear Croatian people".

Another citizen said that the quake "felt worse than a war". Earlier in the week, the Commission's chief, Ursula von der Leyen had tweeted that the European Union was standing "ready to support", Croatia, adding that she would ask the bloc's Crisis Commissioner to travel to the country "as soon as the situation allows".

"Our maximum earthquakes had magnitudes up to 6 on the Richter scale", she stressed.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in Croatia, but ones as strong as this have not been felt since the 1990s, when the village of Ston was destroyed.

One man and a small boy were rescued from a auto which a collapsed building had fallen onto.

"We stand with Croatia", she said.

It also shook parts of neighbouring Bosnia and Serbia.

Slovenia has shut nuclear plant as precaution amid natural disaster in Croatia.