Widespread damage as quake strikes Croatia

Widespread damage as quake strikes Croatia

Widespread damage as quake strikes Croatia

"We are aware that people are scared and that is why Red Cross teams will patrol the streets of the city to help as many people as possible and provide psychosocial support". Numerous structures were damaged, including the nation's parliament building and Zagreb's main historic church.

Authorities said around 70 buildings were damaged.

A vehicle is crushed by falling debris after an natural disaster in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic appealed via his Twitter account to people in the streets to keep social distance from each other as the country struggles to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Croatia's seismologist Ines Ivancic said the tremor was strong but the immediate damage could not be assessed.

So far, Croatia has reported 254 cases of the virus and one death.

He also announced new restrictive measures meant to combat the spread of the virus, including a ban on people leaving their homes except to buy food and medicine, seeking medical attention or going to work.

"This was the strongest quake in Zagreb in the last 140 years, but there is no need to panic and go to gas stations in large numbers", government officials stated on Twitter. It struck 6 km (4 miles) north of the city and was felt across the Western Balkans.

Amid the confusion, a 15-year-old boy was initially reported dead but Zagreb's hospital director later said the victim was a girl who remained in critical condition, state-run HINA agency reported.

Fire officials confirmed rescue operations are ongoing in multiple locations. "Regardless of the situation, we emphasize once again the importance of keeping a distance and following the instructions to combat #COVID ー 19!" The top of one of its two needles collapsed. "Let us not forget the coronavirus epidemics".

The government said it would estimate the damage in the coming weeks and ask the European Commission for aid.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the 5.3-magnitude quake struck a wide area north of Zagreb at 6.23am local time (0523 GMT) on Sunday.

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