Quake aftershocks keep people out of homes in Croatia

PETRINJA, CROATIA (AP) — Aftershocks jolted central Croatia yesterday, a day after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed at least seven people, injured dozens and left several towns and villages in ruins.

The strongest, 4.7-magnitude tremor was recorded near the heavily damaged town of Petrinja, some 40 kilometres southeast of the capital, Zagreb. Many people had spent the night in tents, their cars or military barracks.

Neven Pavkovic, a resident, said the aftershocks kept him awake: “It was a rough night, I slept maybe half an hour.”

In the hard-hit village of Majske Poljane, where five people died, a little boy could be seen sleeping in a van on the chilly morning.

Sobbing villagers said they received blankets, food and other aid but don’t know what they will do next. Rain that fell overnight turned the dust from the rubble into mud, adding to
the hardship.

A rescuer walks past a building damaged in an earthquake in Petrinja, Croatia. PHOTO: AP

“We can’t say ‘Good morning’, It is not good,” Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic told Croatian radio. “We had the third and fourth tremors this morning, short ones but strong. What hasn’t fallen off before is falling now from the ruins of Petrinja.”

“Fear has crept into people,” he said.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the government will declare Saturday a day of national mourning.

As the government abolished a travel ban between counties that was imposed during the holidays because of the coronavirus pandemic, Plenkovic appealed for respect for other measures.