Netherlands offers assistance to Croatia after strong earthquake leaves towns in ruins
The Dutch government has reached out to fellow European Union nation Croatia to offer assistance after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake left at least seven people dead. “The Netherlands is ready to support Croatia in dealing with the aftermath of this terrible disaster,” Foreign Minister Stef Block wrote on Twitter.
The country’s “thoughts are with Croatia, the victims, and their families,” he stated. The earthquake struck at about noon on Tuesday. The epicenter was near the town of Petrinja, about 45 kilometers southeast of Zagreb, and 35 kilometers north of the Bosnia and Herzegovina border.
There were several strong foreshocks before the earthquake, followed by several aftershocks. Five people were killed in Glina, one at a collapsed church in Zazina, and a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja, according to the BBC. At least 26 people were injured, including 6 who were seriously wounded.
Petrinja officials said about half the town was destroyed by the earthquake, and local media reported nearly all homes there were damaged or destroyed. “The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here,” Prime MIniser Andrej Plenkovic said while in the town.
As many as a thousand homes were damaged in nearby Sisak, as well as a hospital and the town hall. At least a half-dozen villages and towns in the area were similarly impacted by the earthquake.
The Croatian Red Cross also responded to provide disaster relief. The Dutch Urban Search and Rescue organization USAR, which assists with several international incidents every year, said it was also “closely monitoring the situation.”
Croatian #RedCross emergency teams are on the ground in #Petrinja assisting with evacuations and providing first aid for injured people.— IFRC Europe (@IFRC_Europe) December 29, 2020
The town was hit by a 6.4 magnitude #earthquake at 12:19 pm today, the strongest in #Croatia in more than 140 years. pic.twitter.com/JglF9TIgvd
The earthquake was felt in many other countries, including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia.