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Devastation and alarm caused by the 6.4M earthquake in Croatia across Central Europe

Wed, 30 Dec 2020, 11:33
Epicenter area of today's devastating earthquake in Croatia
Epicenter area of today's devastating earthquake in Croatia
A massive earthquake of 6.4 on the Richter scale hit central Croatia near the town of Petrinja at 12.19 local time (GMT +1) which was felt to different degrees in several countries, including Bosnia/Herzegovina, Czechia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Austria.
Numerous reports are coming into the VolcanoDiscovery earthquake monitoring service from several countries mentioned above. Our users in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, reported alarm, with objects falling on them and people screaming. People across Croatia perceived different durations, anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 full minute (a very long time in earthquake terms).

Most of Zagreb has suffered from power outages and hospitals have been evacuated. According to local news website INDEXHR the police have called on people to close their gas mains and limit the use of private vehicles. Images from the quake show debris in the streets from buildings, traffic jams and tram cars that have stopped due to electricity cuts. There are reports of deaths in Petrinja close to the earthquake's epicenter, along with reports of general panic among the town's inhabitants and many collapsed structures in the area. In neighboring Slovenia, authorities have even shut down the Krsko nuclear power plant. Beyond the capital Zagreb, people in Croatian cities including Split, Vukovar and Rijeka were also very affected.
In Austria's capital, Vienna, as well as in the country's second largest city, Graz, people sent graphic reports to VolcanoDiscovery of strong shaking, moving objects, and feeling very uneasy. Reports to our monitoring service have come in from Budapest and Pecs in Hungary, Trento and Trieste in Italy, Bavaria in Germany, Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia, Liechtenstein, and numerous other places across Europe. You can see all the feedback from our users under User Reports for this quake, from wildly shaking Christmas trees to scared pets and violent shaking.
Our thoughts are with all these people who experienced the quake and our thanks to the rapid reports that have poured in.

Update Tue, 29 Dec 2020, 14:00
The hardest-hit town, Petrinja, seems to have suffered large-scale destruction. Located only 3 km from the epicenter and already damaged by yesterday's two magnitude 5 quakes, it received the strongest shaking and heaviest damage.
Croatian state televion HRT reported a girl died in the earthquake in Petrinja. "My town has been completely destroyed, we have dead children," Petrinja's major Darinko Dumbovic said to Croatia's state TV HRT: "This is like Hiroshima - half of the city no longer exists." HRT added "The center of Petrinja as it used to be no longer exists. One girl died and there are injuries and people inside collapsed buildings."

Update Tue, 29 Dec 2020, 14:42
The first aftershocks have started to rattle the area. During the first two hours since the mainshock, there were 5 quakes of magnitudes 3+ and one 4.4 tremor, all being felt.
Many more aftershocks are likely to follow in the coming hours, days, even weeks, and likely some of them might reach dangerous magnitudes around 5.

Scientists at Croatia's Seismological Service fear that the recent quakes might indicate that a larger fault system in the area has now been activated, and that other large quakes could occur in different areas in a near future as well.
"We have more epicentral areas. The African plate is pushing our plate and those tensions are so strong that there is a large amount of energy being released," the head of the Seismological Center said.

Update Wed, 30 Dec 2020, 11:33
A day after the catastrophic quake hit Croatia, there is still no full picture of its total damage. Sadly, the preliminary death toll now stands at 7 dead, including a 12-year-old girl and 6 men, according to latest news.
In addition, 6 people were reported to have suffer severe and 20 people light injuries by the quake.
Material damage is enormous, with many destroyed or damaged buildings and structures in towns near the epicenter, especially Petrinja and Sisac. In those areas, the ground shaking reached values of almost 8 on the Mercalli Scale, classified as "severe" with the potential to cause extensive damage.
Almost 100 aftershocks have already been recorded, including 6 tremors of magnitudes 4-4.8, and many more are likely still to follow. The bigger ones are especially dangerous as they add damage to already weakened structures and can cause additional collapse.
Hundreds of people evacuated from their homes are being transferred to makeshift shelters, hotels and other temporary accommodation in the wider area.
If you felt it, report it through our site or app right now!
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Earthquake data:
I felt this quake

Date & time: Tue, 29 Dec 11:19 UTC
Magnitude: 6.4
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 45.46°N / 16.31°E
Primary data source: EMSC

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