5.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hit Zagreb, Croatia Over Weekend

Photo by AP Photo via Newscred

Over the weekend, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports. The epicenter was about four miles north of the city. According to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, as reported by The Guardian, the earthquake on Sunday, March 22 was the strongest to affect the city in 140 years.

After initially being told to go outside after the initial event (just after 6 a.m. local time), authorities have now told residents to go back inside to prevent the spreading of coronavirus (COVID-19). "Keep your distance. Don't gather together. We are facing two serious crises, the earthquake and the epidemic," Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said at the time, the BBC reports. According to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Croatia currently has 361 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Several buildings were damaged, including the parliament, which will be out of action indefinitely. The top of one of the two spires of the Cathedral of Zagreb collapsed; the building’s history dates back to the 13th century and was severely damaged in an 1880 earthquake, after which it underwent another restoration. Sixteen people were injured, plus one person who is in critical condition.

The earthquake was also felt in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since the initial earthquake, there have been four smaller aftershocks, the most recent of which was registered on Monday, March 23 (2.9 magnitude).

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