Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed their solidarity with the Croatian people and its government, after the country was hit by a strong earthquake on Tuesday.
Authorities said seven people were killed, including a young girl, and at least 26 people were injured, six seriously.
Rescuers tried to pull people from the rubble of collapsed buildings, and army troops were sent to help.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Center said a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit 46km from Zagreb at 11.19am.
It caused widespread damage in the hardest-hit town of Petrinja.
The earthquake caused wide damage, collapsing roofs, building facades and even some entire buildings.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Croatia who are dealing with the aftermath of today’s earthquake. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the victims’ families, and to wish a swift recovery to the injured. Our Civil Protection Agency stands ready to assist,” Mitsotakis tweeted.
Our thoughts are with the people of #Croatia who are dealing with the aftermath of today's earthquake. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the victims' families, and to wish a swift recovery to the injured. Our Civil Protection Agency stands ready to assist.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) December 29, 2020
On her part, Sakellaropoulou posted: “All our thoughts and solidarity are with the victims of the severe earthquake in #Croatia. I express my deepest condolences to the President Zoran Milanović and wish for the least possible casualties.”
The earthquake was felt throughout the country and in neighbouring Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia.
All our thoughts and solidarity are with the victims of the severe earthquake in #Croatia. I express my deepest condolences to the President Zoran Milanović and wish for the least possible casualties.
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) December 29, 2020
“Following the severe earthquake that hit Zagreb, Ι contacted my Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic Radman, to express Greece’s solidarity to the Croatian people and readiness to provide assistance,” Dendias posted.
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) December 29, 2020
Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and other government ministers arrived in Petrinja after the earthquake.
“The biggest part of central Petrinja is in a red zone, which means that most of the buildings are not usable,” Plenković said.
“They are searching through the rubble to see if there is anyone else there,” he added.
Plenković said the army has 500 places ready in barracks to house people, while others will be accommodated in nearby hotels and other available places. “No one must stay out in the cold tonight.”
As a Mediterranean country, Croatia is prone to earthquakes, but big quakes are rare.
The last strong one struck in the 1990s when the Adriatic town of Ston was badly damaged by a 6.0-magnitude quake.