A 6.3-magnitude earthquake strikes Croatia, causing extensive damage to buildings in a town near the capital, Zagreb.
Firefighters rescued a man and boy trapped in a car buried under the rubble in Petringa and took them to an ambulance to take them to hospital.
The streets were filled with falling bricks and dust, and many homes were completely destroyed. There were several reports of injuries, and a town official told a regional TV station that a 12-year-old girl had died.
The Croatian army deployed to Petrinia to assist in the rescue operation, and the Croatian Red Cross described the situation as “extremely dangerous” as it sent crisis teams to the area.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that he was on his way to the town “after another devastating earthquake felt by people in many parts of Croatia.”
He added, “We mobilized all available services to help the people and cleanse the destroyed parts. The most important thing now is to save human lives. “
The Euromed Seismological Center said the earthquake, with its epicenter 51 km southeast of Zagreb, was the largest to hit Croatia this year and the 14th earthquake felt in the region in the last 31 hours, including the magnitude 5.2 earthquake on Monday.
Tomislav Vabijanic, head of the emergency medical service in the city of Sisak near Petrinja, said there were many wounded in the area.
“There are fractures and concussions in the brain, and some of them have to be operated on,” he said.
In Zagreb, people took to the streets and parks in fear, and there were reports of many leaving the city despite travel bans due to the coronavirus outbreak. The earthquake was also felt in neighboring Bosnia and Serbia, and the Slovenia News Agency said the country’s only nuclear power plant was closed as a precaution.
In March, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck Zagreb, killing one and injuring 27. This was said to be the largest earthquake to hit Zagreb in 140 years.
The President of the European Council said that the European Union is providing “its full support and assistance”. “We are closely following the situation in Zagreb in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Our thoughts go to the wounded and the frontline workers.”
Additional reporting by agencies