Croatia earthquake: Seven dead as rescuers search rubble for survivors

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Croatia earthquake: Seven dead as rescuers search rubble for survivors
media captionThe earthquake caused extensive damage in Petrinja and Zagreb

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck central Croatia, with reports of many injuries and at least seven deaths.

A 12-year-old girl was killed in Petrinja, the prime minister said as he visited the town.

Five people died in the nearby town of Glina, his deputy said. A seventh victim was found in the rubble of a church in Zazina, state media reports.

Petrinja’s mayor said around half the town had been destroyed and people were being pulled from the rubble.

The earthquake could be felt in the Croatian capital Zagreb, in neighbouring Bosnia and Serbia, and as far away as Italy.

One woman was pulled alive from the rubble of the town hall in Petrinja, Croatian media reported.

image captionSome of the injured were evacuated to Zagreb

“We are pulling people from the cars, we don’t know if we have dead or injured,” Darinko Dumbovic, the mayor of Petrinja, told regional broadcaster N1. “There is general panic, people are looking for their loved ones.”

The mayor was speaking to reporters on Tuesday when Petrinja, home to 20,000 people, was hit by another, weaker, tremor.

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“All the tiles in the bathroom are broken, all the dishes fell out,” one resident, 72-year-old Marica Pavlovic, told AFP news agency. “Even if we wanted to, we can’t go back in, there is no electricity.”

People were also injured in the nearby town of Sisak. National broadcaster HRT said the local hospital there was struggling to cope with the number of casualties arriving for treatment.

Displaced people sleep at a military base after an earthquake in PetrinjaIMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
image captionSome displaced people have been forced to sleep at a military base

Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services in Sisak, said they were seeing fractures and concussions, and some people had needed surgery.

The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reported that the earthquake struck at 11:19 GMT at a depth of 10km (6 miles). The second tremor followed an hour or so later.

The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service said that rescuers from across Croatia had travelled to Petrinja to help with the search and recovery effort.

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