Girl killed after 6.4-magnitude earthquake hits central Croatia

ZAGREB: An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck a town in central Croatia yesterday, killing a child, injuring many people and wrecking houses.

Rescuers tried to pull people from the rubble of collapsed buildings, television footage showed, and army troops were sent in to help.

The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said the quake hit at a depth of 10km. The epicentre was in the town of Petrinja, 50km south of the Croatian capital Zagreb.

Mr Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services in nearby Sisak, said many people had been injured in Petrinja and in Sisak.

"There are fractures, there are concussions and some had to be operated on," he said.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who rushed to Petrinja, said: "We have information that one girl was killed. We have no other information on casualties."

"The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here," he said.

N1 news channel quoted a Petrinja town official as saying that a 12-year old child had been killed, but gave no details.

It showed footage of rescuers in Petrinja pulling a man and a child from the debris. Both were alive.

Other footage showed a house with a roof caved in. It is not known if anyone was inside.

N1 also said a kindergarten was destroyed in the quake but there had been no children in it.

The situation was difficult in retirement homes in the Petrinja area, it added.

There were no other details on deaths and casualties as of press time. - REUTERS