Croatia rattled by 5.2 magnitude earthquake

Croatia rattled by 5.2 magnitude earthquake

A damage home of Ankica Loncarevic is seen after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake in Petrinja, Croatia, December 28, 2020. Credit: Reuters Photo

 A 5.2-magnitude earthquake rattled central Croatia and Zagreb early Monday morning, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, damaging buildings outside the capital but with no casualties reported.

The quake woke up residents in Zagreb at 0530 GMT when it struck some 50 kilometres to the south near the town of Petrinje, where the tremors tore off bricks and left cracks in some building facades.

"People are on the streets, there is panic. There are badly damaged buildings, so the citizens are afraid to go back inside," Petrinje's mayor Darinko Dumbovic told regional broadcaster N1, adding that the town hall was damaged.

In nearby Sisak, home to around 35,000 people, the town's mayor said scores of firefighters were deployed to help with building damage and rescue efforts.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic visited the area Monday to show "support for the citizens", alongside President Zoran Milanovic.

Civil protection teams and the army were deployed to help locals and clear any debris, Plenkovic told reporters.

In March, Zagreb was struck by a stronger 5.3-magnitude quake, the most powerful in decades, which badly damaged buildings in the capital.

The Balkan region lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes.