According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in central Croatia on Tuesday, and local rescuers reported extensive damage to the town of Petrínia and surrounding areas near the epicenter.
The extent of the casualties is unclear. There are reports that earthquakes can be felt in the Balkans and outside Hungary. The earthquake occurred at noon local time.
Darinko Dumbovic, the mayor of Petrínia, told regional radio station N1: “The city was destroyed and at least one person was killed, a 12-year-old girl, he said he The corpse walked across the street.
He said in an exciting telephone interview on Croatian National Television: “We need firefighters. We don’t know what’s under the surface. The roof is down on the car. We need help.”
He said: “The mother is crying for her child.”
Live images on social media and local TV stations showed that the streets were covered with rubble, the roofs of buildings collapsed, and rescuers rushed onto the streets. In a scene filmed by a local television station, a man and a child were pulled out of a car buried under the debris and taken to the hospital.
The mayor told local reporters that he did not know the status of the two.
He said: “I also heard that the kindergarten collapsed.” He said: “Fortunately, there were no children in the building.”
Petrinja is located about 30 miles southeast of the capital Zagreb, where buildings are shaken, broken glass and broken building remains scattered on the streets.
The Croatian Red Cross said this is a “very serious” situation.
This is the second earthquake in the past day, after a magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred on Monday morning, which damaged buildings and caused panic in areas with a history of seismic activity.
Only a few hours after Prime Minister Andrei Plenković and President Zola Milanovic visited the center of Petrinya to investigate the damage caused by the first earthquake.
The first earthquake did not cause personal injury, but Mayor Dempovic said that many buildings have been damaged, and they were in an unstable state when the second earthquake occurred.
He said that there have been several small earthquakes in recent days and many residents are worried about staying overnight in their houses.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated that she has asked the European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic to be ready to go to Croatia to provide assistance.
The region is prone to earthquakes, and experts warn that the Balkan countries in Southeast Europe have failed to address the risk of aging buildings.
Although the history of many towns and villages can be traced back hundreds of years, the construction boom in the 1990s was in the process of transition from communism to capitalism and often saw buildings constructed without considering safety standards.
Experts say the result is that millions of people live in houses that are unlikely to suffer a major earthquake.
In Croatia, the scars of past earthquakes can still be seen in areas such as Dubrovnik. The city was razed to the ground in 1667, killing one-third of the city and more than 5,000 people.
Alisa Dogramadzieva and Joe Orovic contributed reports.