Earthquake hits Croatia amidst coronavirus lockdown

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A powerful earthquake has struck Zagreb, north of Croatia, damaging buildings, burying vehicles in rubble and causing several fires.

As firefighting and rescue operations were ongoing at several locations across Zagreb on Sunday, news outlets reported that a 15-year-old was in critical condition and others were injured.

The 5.3-magnitude quake is the largest to affect the city in 140 years.

Panicked residents ran out into the streets when it struck and were initially told to stay out by authorities.

“It lasted over 10 seconds. By far the strongest I have ever felt,” one witness said,

“Keep your distance. Don’t gather together. We are facing two serious crises, the earthquake and the epidemic,” Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said.

It caused widespread damage including to the city’s iconic cathedral, with the top of one of its two spires collapsing – all amid a partial coronavirus lockdown.

Downtown streets were littered with debris. Concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys landed in front of entrances. People fled apartments and took to the streets while parts of the capital experienced electricity cuts. A church bell tower was damaged and some buildings collapsed.

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