Women killed, many injured when earthquake hits Croatia, Slovenia closes nuclear energy plant

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© Reuters. Earthquake near Zagreb

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By Ivana Sekularac

ZAGREB (Reuters) – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck a city in central Croatia on Tuesday, killing a child, injuring many people and destroying homes.

Rescuers tried to pull people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings, televised footage was shown, and army troops were sent to help.

The GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said the quake occurred at a depth of 10 km. The epicenter was in the city of Petrinja, 50 km south of the Croatian capital Zagreb.

Tomislav Fabijanic, head of the rescue service in nearby Sisak, said many people were injured in Petrinja and Sisak.

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

Prime Minister Adrej Plenkovic, who rushed to Petrinja, said: "We have information that a girl has been killed. We have no further information about victims."

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

News channel N1 quoted a Petrinja city official as saying that a 12-year-old child had been killed, but did not provide details.

It showed images of rescuers in Petrinja pulling a man and a child out of the rubble. Both lived.

Other footage showed a house with a collapsed roof. The reporter said she did not know if anyone was inside.

N1 also said a kindergarten was destroyed in the quake, but there were no children in it. The situation in nursing homes in the Petrinja region is "difficult", he added.

A worker who repaired a roof in a village outside Petrinja told N1 the quake threw him to the ground. Nine of the ten houses in the village were destroyed, he said.

The quake could also be felt in Zagreb, where people stormed into the street, some of them littered with broken roof tiles and other debris. It was also felt in neighboring Bosnia and Serbia.

In neighboring Slovenia, the STA news agency announced that the country's only nuclear power plant, 100 km from the epicenter, has been shut down as a precaution.

The Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant said in a statement that it had not stopped production even though the earthquake was felt there.

On Monday, an earthquake measuring 5.2 struck central Croatia, also near Petrinja. In March, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck Zagreb, killing and injuring 27 people.

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