A major earthquake struck Croatia and its capital Zagreb by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning at around 6:30 a.m. local time.
While Zagreb is already in emergency mode to fight the pandemic coronavirus, now there are parts of the city without electricity and unfortunate structural damage to their neighborhood.
The European Seismological Agency, EMSC, reported that the earthquake was 5.4 magnitudes strong and had an epicenter seven kilometers north of Zagreb. With a depth of 6.2 miles, the earthquake was large enough that it was felt by locals in Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, and Bosnia. The earthquake was followed by several post-strokes.
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit north of Zagreb, Croatia, on Sunday, with a depth of 10 km, according to the US Geological Survey. pic.twitter.com/H9L32tqPVN
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) March 22, 2020
The Croatian authorities have called on people to bear in mind the social distance in this situation also in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eyewitnesses reported that several buildings in Zagreb were damaged. Stucco and other materials falling from buildings damaged cars. The earthquake also damaged Zagreb’s cathedral, whose tower had broken off. Two hospitals have been evacuated in the capital because of an earthquake, which in turn has raised concerns over the spread of Covid-19. It’s hard to think of a worse time to be hit with a natural disaster than amid a worldwide pandemic.
Dozens have injured and a 15-year-old has died after being found under the rubble.
Photos showed hospital residents and doctors rushing to get outside after the quake. It appears an entire maternity ward was forced to exit the hospital. One woman tweeted, “Zagreb, Croatia right now. Strong earthquakes which collapsed a lot of older buildings down got everyone out on the streets. Not fun at all, especially during Corona virus quarantine. #COVID2019.”
Zagreb, Croatia right now. Strong earthquakes which collapsed a lot of older buildings down got everyone out on the streets. Not fun at all, especially during Corona virus quarantine. #COVID2019 pic.twitter.com/5EwaZInJne
— Sansen (@sansensworld) March 22, 2020
— Ana Lee♒ (@VgnNutrition46) March 22, 2020
Croatia has confirmed 204 Covid-19 infections, including 78 new cases reported on Saturday, the highest ever recorded in 24 hours.
Immediately stricter restrictions on movement were imposed, but fear and panic after the earthquake drove hundreds of people into the streets of Zagreb. The earthquake in Zagreb disrupted the electricity supply and several fires were also reported.
— Michaela Girvan (@GirvanMichaela) March 22, 2020
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said it was the strongest earthquake that has struck Zagreb in the last 140 years. The Prime Minister announced that the army and all emergency services would immediately begin cleaning up the streets of Zagreb and urged people to stay outside but stay within the distance. Plenkovic said that Croatia now has to deal with two crises, aggravating the situation.