Moderate earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 hits Croatia and damages buildings

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) – A moderate earthquake struck central Croatia near the capital of Zagreb early Monday, causing panic and damaging some buildings in towns south of the city. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The seismologists in Croatia said the quake, which occurred at about 06:30 (05:30 GMT), was 5.0, with the epicenter near the towns of Petrinja and Sisak 50 kilometers south of the capital. Several smaller tremors were felt after the first one.

Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic told HRT television: “We have bricks and tiles in the streets and fallen chimneys.”

The quake was also felt in neighboring Bosnia. In the capital of Croatia, it woke up residents and fled them on the street. Security cameras showed parked cars for a few seconds, causing their alarms.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has promised state aid to repair the damage as he was hit by the quake on Monday.

“This year ends as it began,” Plenkovic said, referring to an earlier earthquake in Croatia that came on top of the coronavirus outbreak challenging the EU member state.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was following the situation closely on Monday and was ready to help.

“Stay strong Croatia!”, She said on Twitter.

Earlier this year, the Zagreb area was hit by a strong earthquake on March 22 that caused significant damage. One person was killed and at least 27 were injured.