Two strong earth tremors, with magnitudes between 5 and 5.5 degrees on the Richter scale, shook Croatia this Sunday (22). The event caused panic, serious material damage and several injuries. The hardest part is that this devatating phenomenon took place in the midst of the quarantine.
The country’s authorities ordered citizens to stey in their homes to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
The European Seismological Agency, EMSC, noted that experts located the epicenter at 7 kilometers north of Zagreb at a depth of 10 kilometers, 6:23 in the morning.
Thousands of citizens panicked out onto the streets, including people from main hospitals caring for people with Covid-19 infections.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated that it was the most powerful earthquake in Zagreb in 140 years. He urged the population to remain calm and to stay away from their homes, although he recognized that the crisis caused by the coronavirus made work difficult.
“The danger of the coronavirus is greater than a new earthquake”
“We have two parallel crises that contradict each other,” he said after an emergency meeting of Croatia’s top officials. “We will try to clear the streets as soon as possible.
“Stay outside your homes and keep distance.”
“There are rules for when there is an earthquake, but when there is an earthquake at the same time as when there is a global pandemic, then it’s a much more complex situation,” said interior minister Davor Bozinovic.
That’s why in relation to this officials urged the public to obey preventive measures on maintaining a two-metre “social distance” from each other; besides that, they also restricted gatherings to five or less.
“Earthquakes are dangerous, but coronavirus is even more so,” said health minister Vili Beros.
Many buildings cracked in Zagreb, with damage to walls and roofs. The downtown streets are rubble. Concrete walls and stones fell on cars.
The iconic Zagreb cathedral, rebuilt after the 1880 earthquake, was also damaged.
In another nearby church, the interior ceiling collapsed, leaving the basilica full of rubble.
The power supply was interrupted briefly, while the alarms sounded and people ran out of their houses. People also reported several fires.
In the center of Zagreb many vehicles were destroyed by parts of buildings that fell to the streets.
Authorities initially said a 15-year-old girl had died, but medical sources later said she was still in serious condition and that they were fighting to save her life. They did not give details on the severity of the other wounded.
Source: The independent