Pope Francis is praying for the victims of the earthquake that struck central Croatia on Tuesday. The temblor killed at least seven people and injured more than twenty others. Reports are that quake damage was extensive.
The quake that struck Tuesday registered 6.4 on the Richter Scale, and did major damage to the towns of Petrinja, Glina, Sisak and Zazina. Rescue and recovery efforts are underway, but aftershocks continued into Wednesday morning. The Tuesday quake was the second to strike the area in as many days. The seismic event made itself felt as far afield as Vienna Vienna.
From Petrinja – roughly 60km southeast of the capital city, Zagreb – Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the army was on the scene and would be evacuating some survivors. “The army is here to help,” he said. “We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here.”
Croatia’s neighbour, Slovenia, reportedly took the precautionary measure of shutting down its only nuclear power plant.
“I express my closeness to the wounded and to those who have been affected by the quake,” Pope Francis said during the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, adding that he is praying “in particular for those who have lost their lives and for their families.”
Pope Francis also appealed for Croatian and international leaders to work together to address the emergency.
“Helped by the international community,” Pope Francis said, “I hope that the country’s leaders might be able to quickly alleviate the suffering of the dear population.”
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