A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has rocked Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, damaging buildings and leaving cars crushed by falling chunks of masonry.
The quake is said to be the largest to affect the city in 140 years with about 16 persons and a teenager said to in a critical condition after a roof collapsed, local media say. The spire of the city’s cathedral also snapped off.
Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said “Keep your distance. Don’t gather together. We are facing two serious crises, the earthquake and the epidemic,”
However, Mayor Milan Bandic later said they should return home. “Eighty per cent of Zagreb residents live in structures that have reinforced concrete structures Zagreb’s mayor urged people to return to their homes given fears about the coronavirus. Panicked residents ran out into the streets when it struck and were initially told to stay out by authorities.
Several buildings were damaged, including the parliament. It will be out of action until further notice. Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic described the damage as “quite extensive”.
But by early afternoon police had closed motorway toll booths and set up control points to prevent people entering coastal districts because of fears of spreading coronavirus, Croatia has more than 200 Covid-19 infections.