Strong earthquake hits Croatia, destroys town

Croatia is struck by a powerful earthquake, the second in as many days • Many injured and at least three dead • Nuclear plant in neighbouring Slovenia shut down as a precaution

Second earthquake in as many days rocks Croatia, leaving at least three dead and many injured (Twitter)
Second earthquake in as many days rocks Croatia, leaving at least three dead and many injured (Twitter)

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck central Croatia on Tuesday afternoon has left many people injured and at least three dead.

The epicentre was the town of Petrinja that has a population of 25,000 and is situated 44km south-east to the capital Zagreb. Local media reported that half the town was destroyed by the quake.

A 12-year-old girl was one of three reported victims as rescuers continue to pull people out from the rubble.

Damage was also reported in Zagreb and government officials had to be evacuated from a building.

The nuclear plant at Krsko in neighbouring Slovenia has been shut down as a precautionary measure.

The earthquake was felt as far off as Italy.

Croatia was hit by a magnitude 5.2 earthquake on Monday.

Today’s earthquake struck at around 12:20pm at a depth of 10km and an hour later the area was hit by a weaker tremor.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who rushed to Petrinja, said: “We have information that one girl was killed. We have no other information on casualties… The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that she had spoken with the Croatian prime minister and the EU was ready to help.

“We are ready to support. I have asked Janez Lenarcic to stand ready to travel to Croatia as soon as the situation allows. We stand with Croatia,” she said.

Lenarcic, European commissioner for emergency situations, confirmed that the European coordination centre was in contact with the Croatian authorities: “We are ready to help.”