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Croatia hit by 6.3 magnitude earthquake


Croatia has been hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, the government-owned Croatian News Agency HINA reported Tuesday, causing major damage to Petrinja, a town close to its epicenter.

The quake rocked the Balkan country at 12:20 p.m. local time (6:20 a.m. ET) and its epicenter was located 44 kilometers (27 miles) southeast of the capital Zagreb, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

The EMSC said it was the largest earthquake to hit Croatia so far this year, adding it could “generate significant damage at close epicentral distances.”

Darinko Dumbović, the mayor of the central Croatian town of Petrinja, called for immediate emergency aid, saying that “half the town has been destroyed,” HINA reported.

Photographs from the town showed a collapsed roof of a building and a car crushed by falling debris.

Dumbović described scenes of “panic” in the aftermath of the tremor during an interview with CNN’s Croatian affiliate N1. “There’s panic, people are searching for their loved ones,” he said.

“We are pulling people out of cars, we don’t know if people have died or have been injured. I heard a kindergarten has collapsed but luckily there weren’t any children there, while in another one the children were able to escape,” the mayor added.

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković posted a tweet saying he was on his way to Petrinja.

“We have mobilized all available services to help people and clear all broken parts,” the PM said.

Reuters reported that the quake could be felt as far away as Zagreb. Photographs from the capital showed broken roof tiles, bricks and other debris.

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