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Croatia earthquake kills at least six, injures dozens

Croatia earthquake kills at least six, injures dozens
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A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked central Croatia on Tuesday, the second one in the past two days, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others, according to local authorities. 

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center reported that Tuesday’s earthquake first hit about 6:20 a.m. ET, causing major damage to the town of Petrinja, located about 28 miles southeast of the Mediterranean country’s capital of Zagreb. 

The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks, some of which were captured in footage shared on Twitter from a press conference and live news report. 

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According to The Associated Press, debris filled the streets as buildings collapsed, with one woman found alive some four hours after the quake. 

Authorities said that among those who died was a 12-year-old girl from Petrinja, a town of roughly 25,000 people. 

According to the Croatian public broadcasting service, HRT, another five people were killed in a nearby village and at least 20 people were taken to the hospital. Two of those hospitalized are in serious condition, authorities said. 

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The AP reported that the same area was hit by a 5.2 quake Monday.

The U.S. Geological Survey called Tuesday’s natural disaster “the largest earthquake to occur in Croatia since the advent of modern seismic instrumentation,” adding that a similar-sized earthquake hit Zagreb in 1880. 

The AP noted that while Croatia is prone to earthquakes as a Mediterranean country, large ones are rather rare, with the last strong quake destroying the Adriatic coast village of Ston in the 1990s. 

Tuesday’s earthquake was felt throughout Croatia, as well as in neighboring Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia, and as far away as Graz in southern Austria, the Austria Press Agency reported.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and other government officials arrived in Petrinja on Tuesday following the quake, with Plenkovic saying in an address that “the biggest part of central Petrinja is in a red zone, which means that most of the buildings are not usable,” the AP reported. 

The prime minister added that the country’s army has 500 places in barracks ready to house people, while others displaced by the quake will be allowed to stay at nearby hotels and other locations. 

“No one must stay out in the cold tonight,” Plenkovic said, according to the AP. 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that she had spoken with Plenkovic and had asked the commission’s head of crisis management to “stand ready to travel to Croatia as soon as the situation allows.”