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6.2 magnitude earthquake rocks Croatia

earthquake rocks croatia

Petrinja (Screenshot/Croatian Red Cross)

ZAGREB, December 29, 2020 (Hina) – The earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale that hit the area of Petrinja, some 50 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, at 12.19 pm Tuesday, was felt across the country, the Croatian Seismology Service said, noting that large-scale material damage was expected.

“The intensity of this destructive earthquake has been estimated at VII-IX degrees on the EMS scale. The quake was felt across scale. Large-scale damage is expected, the service said on its Twitter profile.

The streets of Petrinja were full of debris, and rescuers were searching for survivors who were still trapped, the N1 commercial broadcaster reported on Tuesday afternoon.

The mayor, Darinko Dumbovic, was quoted by the 24 sata newspaper as saying that a child had been killed in the city.

It is still not known if the quake has caused other human losses. 

Damage has also been caused to buildings in the capital city Zagreb, sections of which have been left without electricity.

Croatian Power Company (HEP) said its teams were out in the field working to restore power supply.

The earthquake was felt across Croatia as well as in neighbouring countries.

Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic has called for immediate emergency aid.

“We are dragging people out of cars. We don’t know if there have been any casualties. I have heard that the kindergartten has collapsed but luckily there were no children in it,” said Dumbovic.

“The people are in panic looking for their loved ones,” he added and called for anyone that can, to come and help in Petrinja, particularly professional fire-fighters and the army.

In a statement for N1 television Dubmovic said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic who set out immediately to go to Petrinja.

Prior to leaving for Petrinja, Plenkovic said that some buildings in downtown Zagreb have caved in. Zagreb residents have taken to the streets in fear of another tremor.

Head of emergency services in the City of Zagreb, Pavle Kalinic told Hina on Tuesday that several buildings in the capital were damaged and services were immediately being deployed to Petrinja and its environs which were the hardest hit by the earthquake.

The earthquake could be felt throughout the Croatia and in neighbouring countries.

Seismic expert Kresimir Kuk said that the energy released by the Petrinja quake was 30 times stronger than the energy released by the 22 March quake that hit Zagreb and its environs.

Kuk believes that this could be the most powerful earthquake after a string of strong tremors.

Majske Poljane, a village outside Glina, about 70 kilometres south of Zagreb, was worst hit the earthquake, the deputy mayor of Glina, Branka Baksic Mitic, said.

“There are hardly 10 percent of houses here that have been left intact. People are still being pulled out from under the rubble. Glinsko Novo Selo was also hit severely, but there are no casualties there. The largest number of casualties are here,” Baksic Mitic told the Index.hr news website.

She said that tents were being set up on a football field in Glina for people who have been left homeless by the earthquake. She appealed for shipping containers to use them for accommodation. “It’s winter and these people have nowhere to stay,” she said.

Baksic Mitic confirmed that four people had been found dead buried underneath the rubble.

Glina Primary School said it had opened the doors of its gym to people without shelter.

More to follow…

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