Rescue workers rushed to search for survivors amid strong aftershocks after the worst earthquake in Croatia in 140 years killed seven people and devastated cities and towns in one of the country's poorest regions.
The 6.3 magnitude quake on Tuesday damaged most buildings near the epicenter in Petrinja, a city of 25,000, rendering them unusable and leaving their residents homeless, authorities said.
The victims included a 13-year-old girl and a father and son who died together. Twenty-six people were injured, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said.
The temblor, which rattled Europeans as far away as Rome and Vienna, was more powerful than both a 5.2 earthquake on Monday and a similar-sized quake that caused $ 6 billion in damage when it hit the capital, Zagreb in March.
Aftershocks, including two from 4.8 and 4.6, hit the area before dawn on Wednesday, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center.
"This morning we were hit by the third, if not the fourth, earthquake," said Mayor of Petrinja Darinko Dumbovic on state television's Good Morning show. "Anything that hasn't fallen yet falls from the ruins of Petrinja."
– EMSC (@LastQuake) December 30, 2020
The disaster adds to an already difficult year for the Adriatic Member State of the European Union, which is still repairing the 20,000 buildings damaged in the March earthquake, while also sustaining one of the worst spikes in Europe. coronavirus cases and a record economic recession.
Plenkovic promised that the government will repair the damage, the extent of which has not yet been estimated. While the government abolished a virus-induced movement ban between provinces so that those whose homes had been destroyed could stay with relatives, he urged people to continue to follow guidelines for social aloofness.
“We call on people to adhere to epidemiological measures,” Plenkovic told reporters. "We still have a problem with the coronavirus pandemic."
Authorities evacuated the damaged hospital in the nearby town of Sisak, the largest city in the region, and took patients to Zagreb. Buildings were also damaged in the capital, some 50 kilometers away.
Petrinja was scrapped in the 1991-1995 war for independence from the former Yugoslavia. Tuesday's damage resulted in collapsed facades and collapsed roofs that resembled the damage of the war, as many civilians spent the night outside by open fires.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor was the strongest in the country since the advent of modern seismic instruments, which gained popularity in the 1980s.
The government initially set aside 120 million kuna ($ 19.4 million) in emergency funds, Plenkovic said. Both Hungary and Slovenia said they would send aid, while Janez Lenarcic, the EU's disaster response commissioner, will arrive in Croatia on Wednesday. He said the block was sending help today, including winter tents, electric heaters, sleeping bags, and turnkey homes.
Photo: rescue teams in Sisak, Croatia, on December 29. Photo by: Getty Images Agency / Anadolu
Copyright 2020 Bloomberg.
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