New tremors shake Croatia after deadly quake
Fresh tremors shook Croatia on Wednesday as the Adriatic country was still picking up the pieces of a deadly earthquake that claimed seven lives and reduced buildings to rubble the day before.
The series of aftershocks jangled nerves in towns south of Zagreb where Tuesday’s major 6.4-magnitude flattened village homes, left gaping holes in buildings and crushed cars under mountains of bricks.
Many in and around the hard-hit town of Petrinja spent a sleepless night in fear of new tremors, with some opting to stay in their cars or shelter in a nearby military barracks.
“We go inside to quickly grab what we need and we return here,” said Visnja, a 66-year-old sitting around a fire outside her home in Petrinja after sleeping in a car.
Sinisa Sremic, a 53-year-old in the town of 20,000, passed the night in a sleeping bag.
“My flat is completely turned upside down. It still has no electricity, all the food in my fridge will be wasted,” he told AFP.
In the nearby village of Majske Poljane, five were killed by the quake that mangled homes and farm buildings.
Tuesday’s dead also included a young girl who was struck by falling debris on a street in Petrinja, and another man who was buried beneath rubble in a nearby village church, a priest told state news agency HINA.
Rescue teams with dogs spent the night scouring ruins in the area, but no new victims were found by the mountain rescue service, the organisation’s chief Josip Granic told reporters.
At least 20 people were injured, Croatian police said, while at least six were rescued alive Tuesday from the wreckage.
The European Union’s crisis management chief, Janez Lenarcic, was due to visit Petrinja on Wednesday as the bloc prepared aid for its member state.
“At the moment, mostly winter tents, electric heaters, sleeping beds and sleeping bags are needed as well as housing containers,” Lenarcic wrote on Twitter.
Parts of Petrinja and the nearby town Sisak were still without electricity Wednesday morning.
Homes, schools and other buildings in the area had already been weakened by a moderate tremor on Monday.
The Balkans lie near fault lines and see regular seismic activity.
Pope Francis expressed sympathy on for the injured and for “those who have lost their lives and for their families” in Croatia, a mainly Catholic country.
“I hope that the authorities of the country, with the help of the international community, will soon be able to alleviate the suffering of the dear Croatian people.”