Earthquake hits Croatia, damages buildings

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A 5.2 magnitude earthquake has hit central Croatia near the capital of Zagreb, triggering panic and damaging some buildings in towns south of the city.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Seismologists said the magnitude of the quake that struck around 6.30am local time on Monday was 5.2, with the epicentre close to the towns of Petrinja and Sisak, 50 kilometres south of the capital.

Several smaller tremors were felt after the initial one and the quake was also felt in neighbouring Bosnia.

The mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbovic, told state HRT television that "we have bricks and tiles in the streets and fallen chimneys".

In Zagreb, tremors awoke residents and sent them fleeing into the streets.

Security cameras showed parked cars shaking for several seconds, triggering their alarms.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic promised state help in repairing the damage while he toured the quake-hit regions on Monday.

"This year is ending the way it started," Plenkovic said, referring to an earthquake in the country earlier in 2020.

The Zagreb area was hit by a strong quake on March 22, causing substantial damage. One person died and at least 27 were injured.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is closely following the situation and stands ready to help.

"Stay strong Croatia!," she said on Twitter.