A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck the Croatian capital of Zagreb on Sunday at 6.30 a.m. (0530GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ).
The quake, which occurred less than 10 kilometers north-northeast of the city center, was also reportedly felt by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia, and Austria.
The earthquake damaged many houses and workplaces, especially historical buildings, in the capital Zagreb.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic called the earthquake the strongest in 140 years, calling on people who exited buildings to keep their distance and stay calm.
“At this point, it’s clear that there is a lot of damage to the buildings. We urge the public to exercise caution. We will recommend that most of our fellow citizens, no matter how cold, stay in front of their buildings,” said Plenkovic.
He said experts are inspecting buildings but for now no one can know for sure how badly some of them were damaged, especially the older ones, while the new ones are probably more solid.
“I appeal to everyone to maintain their discretion. All services will work in a coordinated manner and we will report on the next steps through the media,” he said.
He added that they will work to repair the roads as soon as possible, and the focus would be on healthcare facilities.
Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic said that the south tower of the historic Zagreb Cathedral was damaged.
Stressing the continued threat of coronavirus, Maja Grba Bujevic from the Health Ministry urged people who left buildings to keep their distance from each other.
While aftershocks continue in the capital, fragments from buildings also damaged vehicles on the streets.