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Croatia earthquake: Death toll rises

earthquake rocks croatia

Petrinja (Screenshot/Croatian Red Cross)

ZAGREB, Dec 29(Hina) – The number of people killed in Tuesday’s devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Petrinja has climbed to five, and a number of people have been injured and significant damage has been caused.

Four people have been killed in Majske Poljane near the town of Glina, Glina Deputy Mayor Branka Mitic said.

The Interior Ministry confirmed earlier in the day that a 12-year-old girl had been killed in Petrinja.

The number of casualties is increasing as ruins are being cleaned up.

Rescue services are continuing to search for survivors.

Twenty people have been admitted to Sisak hospital with injuries, two of them in a serious condition, N1 television reported, citing a source at the hospital.

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.

Croatia earthquake

(Screenshot/YouTube/24sata)

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.

Majske Poljane, a village outside Glina, about 70 kilometres south of Zagreb, was worst hit by the earthquake on Tuesday, 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.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic visited Sisak General Hospital on Tuesday, saying that some of the patients would be transferred to Zagreb.

“In agreement with Health Minister Vili Beros, we have decided that anyone who can, will be transferred to Zagreb hospitals and for them to take in patients. The new wing is good but it does not have any heating and patients need to be taken care of in decent conditions. We will organise their transport. The Croatian Army is sending helicopters. Some will be transported by helicopter, some in emergency vehicles and we will organise evacuation during the afternoon for all those who cannot remain,” the prime minister told the press outside the hospital which currently has 250 patients.

“There’s nothing else we can do. It’s not safe here and if it’s not safe, patients can’t stay here,” he added.

After visiting Sisak, Plenkovic will travel to Pokupsko and Glina. An emergency cabinet meeting is scheduled for 7 pm to discuss the events of the day so that the government can make relevant decisions at tomorrow’s meeting related to sending aid to Sisak-Moslavina County which was struck by a devastating earthquake.

Minister Beros said that at the moment there was no official information about injuries, while the director of Sisak Hospital, Tomislav Dujmenovic, said that about 20 people had been admitted to the hospital, mostly from Petrinja, adding that two patients were in a serious condition while the others had slight injuries.

“Some of them have been transferred to Zagreb hospitals while some are being taken care of in Sisak, some have been discharged and some have been detained in hospital,” he said.

He underscored that until the hospital building is inspected and quickly repaired, “we will not have anywhere to come to tomorrow except the gynaecology ward.”

He said that during the earthquake itself a baby was born in one of the external containers. The baby and mother are well.

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