ZAGREB, Dec 29 (Hina) – The streets of Petrinja, which was hit by 6.2-strong quake shortly after Tuesday noon, 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. Further reports say a 12-year-old girl was the victim and that around 20 people have been hospitalised.
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 .
The Krsko nuclear power plant, co-owned by Slovenia and Croatia, has preventatively shut down its operation following the earthquake.
The nuclear power plant stopped operating following the standard procedure in the event of major natural disasters.
The plant was built to resist a 7.9-magnitude earthquake as the strongest earthquake to hit Slovenia to date was of that magnitude, recorded at Idrija in 1511. Another strong earthquake that rocked the Krsko area occurred at Brezice in 1917, measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale.
The earthquake safety of the Krsko plant was additionally improved following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan in 2011.
EMSC: About 6 million people felt the earthquake
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said on Tuesday that an estimated 6 million people had felt the magnitude 6.2. earthquake that struck Croatia at 12.19 pm.
The United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program said that the tremor had been felt in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The epicentre was near Petrinja, about 50 kilometres southeast of Zagreb.