Strong quake of magnitude-5.3 hits Croatia

Clay Curtis
March 24, 2020

A 5.3-magnitude natural disaster hit Croatia's capital Zagreb on Sunday, March 22, damaging buildings and leaving a teenager in a critical condition, local media reported.

A 15-year-old was in a critical condition and several others injured, news outlets reported.

The US Geological Survey said the quake measured 5.4, while the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) also reported 5.3 magnitude, followed by another 5.1 magnitude natural disaster.

According to media reports, the epicentre was four miles north of the capital at a depth of six miles, and the 5.3-magnitude natural disaster was followed by a number of tremors.

According to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, the quake in Zagreb was the strongest in 140 years.

Many buildings cracked and walls and rooftops were damaged. "Mothers and new babies in incubators were promptly moved to other hospitals". Numerous structures were damaged, including the nation's parliament building and Zagreb's main historic church. The structurel was rebuilt after it toppled in the 1880 quake.

People dashed onto the streets of Zagreb, the capital, at 6.23am (5.23am GMT) as their homes were shaken violently by the tremor.

Power was also cut as the natural disaster struck and several fires were reported.

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He said the state is also calling on retirees and all other professionals in the medical field to help monitor those beds. The state has 3,000 ICU units; health officials say it needs at least 18,000 - and possibly as many as 37,000.

"We have two parallel crisis that contradict each other", Plenkovic said after an emergency meeting of Croatia's top officials. Residents shared photos of damages inside homes.

A 5.3-magnitude natural disaster tore down chunks of buildings in Zagreb and left a teenager in critical condition on Sunday, state media reported, as authorities warned residents not to gather together and further spread the coronavirus. It sent some people rushing out of their homes into public parks despite earlier warnings from authorities against large gatherings in public areas to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Among the landmarks damaged was Zagreb's iconic cathedral.

Mr Plenkovic said the army had been called in to help clean up debris in Zagreb and urged citizens to "stay outside and keep your distance".

So far, the country has reported 206 cases of the coronavirus and one death.

"We will try to clear the streets as soon as possible", the prime minister said.

Victims of the natural disaster huddle together in one of Zagreb's parks.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said the situation was complicated by the restrictive virus-related measures in place.

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