Petrinia, Croatia (AP)- The magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed at least 7 people, injured dozens of people, and left several towns and villages in ruins.
About 25 miles southeast of the capital Zagreb, near the heavily damaged town of Petrinja, the strongest magnitude 4.7 earthquake was recorded. Many people spend the night in tents, cars or military camps.
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Resident Neven Pavkovic said that aftershocks kept him awake: “It was a difficult night and I slept for about half an hour.”
In the devastated village of Majske Poljane, five people were killed. One cold morning, a little boy could be seen sleeping in a van.
The weeping villagers said they received blankets, food and other assistance, but did not know what to do next. The rain that fell overnight turned the dust in the rubble into mud, adding to the hardships of life.
Dalinko Dumbovich in Petrínia told Croatian radio: “We cannot say’good morning’, it is not good.” “This morning we had the third and fourth earthquakes, although Short but very strong. What has never fallen before is now fallen from the ruins of Petrini.”
He said: “Fear has spread to people.”
Pope Francis prayed for the victims. At the end of the weekly audience, he said: “I especially pray for the dead and their families.”
Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovich said the government will announce a national day of mourning on Saturday. As the government lifted the inter-county travel ban imposed during the holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Plenkovich called for respect for other measures.
6.3 magnitude earthquake in Croatia
Plenkovic said at a government meeting: “We are still fighting COVID-19, and it is not good to relax now.”
Rescuers searched for serious survivors in the rubble all night.
Officials said a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja (a small town of about 25,000 people). At least 26 people were injured and hospitalized.
Tuesday’s earthquake was the strongest earthquake in Croatia since the introduction of modern seismic measurement systems. The entire region, including neighboring Bosnia, Serbia, and Slovenia, felt the earthquake.
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On Monday, central Croatia was also hit by a magnitude 5.2 earthquake.