Natural disaster of 5.3 degrees in Zagreb causes serious damage

Croatia Earthquake

People inspect the damage caused by the earthquake in the main square in central Zagreb Croatia More

The magnitude-5.5 natural disaster that hit Zagreb at sunrise on Sunday caused 27 wounded, 18 in serious condition, with a 15-year-old girl in life-threatening condition, according to the most recent bulletin released Monday morning by the country's civil protection service.

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said the quake, which was felt across the Western Balkans, struck at a depth of 10km (six miles).

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

A Reuters reporter on the scene saw a church bell tower damaged, some buildings fell down as people fled apartments and took to the streets and some parts of Zagreb experienced power cuts.

Croatia has more than 200 infections of the new coronavirus.

In the wake of the natural disaster, Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic urged people in the streets to keep social distance from each other.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Sunday said he had been in contact with a large number of colleagues "expressing their readiness to support", including Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, as well as Janez Jansa, Viktor Orban and Sebastian Kurz, leaders of nearby Slovenia, Hungary and Austria.

Many buildings cracked and walls and rooftops were damaged.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic announced new restrictive measures meant to combat the spread of the virus, including a ban on people leaving their homes except to buy food and medicine, seeking medical attention or going to work.

Many people said they can not worry about the virus when they are not sure if they are safe at home.

"Keep your distance. Don't gather together".

Some of Zagreb's residents disagreed.

The damaged cathedral in Zagreb.

"We have two parallel crisis that contradict each other", Plenkovic said after an emergency meeting of Croatia's top officials. "We are facing two serious crises, the natural disaster and the epidemic", he said.

According to local residents, the quake struck just as more restrictive measures to combat coronavirus were coming into effect.

"There are rules for when there is an quake, but when there is an natural disaster at the same time when there is a global pandemic, then it's a much more complex situation", he said.

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