Devastating scenes from Croatia: Earthquake hits the country amidst COVID-19 outbreak

“We have two parallel crises that contradict each other”, Croatian PM said.

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Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Croatia, an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude struck the capital of Zagreb. The earthquake damaged buildings, forcing many people to leave their houses.

About 17 people were reported to be injured. The epicenter was 7 kilometers north of the capital, at a depth of 10 kilometers. At least four weaker tremors followed the initial earthquake.

Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic said the earthquake was the biggest to hit Zagreb in 140 years. With cracked buildings and damaged rooftops, the streets were filled with debris as concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys.

The capital’s iconic cathedral was also damaged, with the top of its two spires collapsing. The earthquake struck amid a partial lockdown of the capital because of the coronavirus. So far, there are 235 confirmed cases of the virus in Croatia.

‘’Earthquakes are dangerous, but the coronavirus is even more so’’, said the Health Minister Vili Beros.

Plenkovic urged citizens to remain calm.

“We have two parallel crises that contradict each other”, Croatian PM said.

Croatian soldiers could be seen wearing masks and carrying shovels to help clear the streets. Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that they had faced two simultaneous crises, out of which one is unpredictable and the other is invisible.

“There are rules for when there is an earthquake, but when there is an earthquake at the same time when there is a global pandemic, then it’s a much more complex situation,” the minister said.

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