22 March 2020 16:33
ZAGREB, Croatia — A strong earthquake shook Croatia and its capital on Sunday, causing widespread damage and panic. A 15-year-old was reported in critical condition and others were injured, news outlets reported. The European seismological agency, EMSC, said the earthquake measured 5.3 and struck a wide area north of the capital, Zagreb, at 6:23 a.m. The epicenter was 7 kilometers (4 miles) north of Zagreb at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). Many buildings in Zagreb cracked and walls and rooftops were damaged. Concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys landed in front of entrances.
Zagreb's iconic cathedral was also damaged with the top of one of its two spires collapsing. Officials first said a 15-year-old was killed, but doctors later said that she is in critical condition and that they are fighting for her life. People were told to avoid public areas, such as parks and public squares, but had little choice as they fled their residences. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said earthquake was the biggest in Zagreb in the last 140 years. He urged the citizens to remain calm and stay outside their homes in the central parts of Zagreb, which sustained the most damage.
Earthquake damage in Zagreb. A powerful earthquake hit Croatia at 6.24am local time on Sunday morning with the epicentre seven kilometres north of Zagreb, said the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, EMSC. Another strong earthquake shook Zagreb at 7am, with both tremors causing widespread damage and panic amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Local media reported that dozens were injured and that a 15-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries. Damage to buildings was visible in the centre of the city, and some people fled their homes. The head of Zagreb's Office for Emergency Management, Pavle Kalinic, called on the public to remain outside after the earthquake and stressed that Civil Protection officials would look after them. The City of Zagreb's Civil Protection [department] is taking care of 3,000 people for now," Kalinic said. Intensity shake map of the earthquake that hit Croatia on Sunday. An Associated Press report said many buildings in Zagreb suffered cracking, and walls and rooftops were damaged. Downtown streets were littered with debris, while concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys toppled. The top of Zagreb's cathedral was damaged, and there were electricity and water cuts in some residential areas in the centre. Prime Minister Plenkovic told a press conference said that it was the strongest earthquake to hit Zagreb since 1880. We are recommending staying outside for now. No need for panic… and maintain the distance recommended because of the coronavirus epidemic," Plenkovic said. "We have two crisis situations which contradict each other. The message was to stay at home," he added. Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic also urged the public to maintain social distancing, saying that the coronavirus outbreak is more challenging for the authorities than dealing with the consequences of the earthquake. The earthquake hit Croatia amid a partial lockdown in the capital imposed last week to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Anti-epidemic measures introduced last week banned all public events, gatherings of more than five people in one place, and suspended all retail and trading activities. A strong earthquake shook Croatia and its capital on Sunday, causing widespread damage and panic. The European seismological agency, EMSC, said the earthquake measured 5.3 and struck a wide area north of the capital, Zagreb, at 6.23am (0523 GMT). The epicentre was four miles (7km) north of Zagreb at a depth of six miles (10km). A car is crushed by falling debris after the earthquake in Zagreb, Croatia (Filip Horvat/AP) Many buildings in the city cracked, and walls and rooftops were damaged. Streets were littered with debris, with concrete slabs falling on cars and chimneys landing in front of entrances. Inside homes, residents shared photos of belongings falling off shelves, broken bottles and glass. Officials said there were injuries, but gave no other immediate details. The earthquake struck amid a partial lockdown of the capital because of the spread of the coronavirus. People were told to avoid public areas, such as parks and public squares, but had no choice as they ran out of their apartments. People inspect the damage caused by the earthquake in the main square in central Zagreb, Croatia (Filip Horvat/AP) Zagreb's famous cathedral was also damaged, with the top of one of its two spires collapsing. The cathedral was rebuilt after it toppled in the 1880 earthquake. Power was cut as people ran out of their homes.