Croatia quake rattles Central Europe
Magnitude 6.4 quake second to hit the area
SISAK • An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck central Croatia on Tuesday, killing seven people, injuring more than 20 and rattling several neighbouring countries, officials and residents said.
Rescuers pulled people from the rubble of collapsed buildings in the town of Petrinja and army troops were sent to the area to help.
Tremors were also felt in Croatia's capital Zagreb and as far away as Austria's capital Vienna. Slovenia shut its only nuclear power plant as a precaution.
It was the second quake to strike the area in two days.
The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said it hit at 11: 19 a. m. GMT at a depth of 10 kilometres, with the epicentre in Petrinja, 50 kilometres south of Zagreb.
“By now, in the vicinity of the town of Glina we have five fatalities. Together with a (12-year-old) girl from Petrinja there are altogether six dead,” Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved said while visiting Glina.
State news agency Hina, citing firefighters, later reported that a seventh victim had been found in the rubble of a church in the village of Zazina.
Police said at least 20 people were slightly injured and six more severely wounded in the temblor.
“The search through the rubble is continuing,” the police said in a statement.
Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services in Sisak, said many were wounded in Petrinja and Sisak and their injuries included fractures and concussions.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who rushed to Petrinja, said: “The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here.”
The head of the hospital in Sisak said later it was treating 20 people, two with severe injuries.
The N1 television station showed footage of rescuers in Petrinja pulling a man and a child alive from the debris. Other footage showed a house with its roof caved in. The N1 reporter said she did not know if anyone was inside.
N1 also said a kindergarten was destroyed in the quake but that there were no children in it at the time. Piles of stone, brick and tiles littered Petrinja's streets and cars parked in the road were smashed by falling debris.
The quake was also felt in Zagreb, where people rushed onto the streets, some of which were strewn with broken roof tiles and other debris.
Croatia's state news agency Hina said the quake was felt in a total of 12 countries.