STA, 22 March 2020 - A strong earthquake with its epicentre just north of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, was felt across Slovenia Sunday morning. The 5.3 magnitude quake struck at 6.24am at a depth of 10 kilometres and was followed by two strong aftershocks, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).
The tremors were picked up by sensors all across Slovenia, according to the Environment Agency, with people all over the country reporting having felt the quake to varying degrees.
Social media photos and videos from Zagreb suggest extensive damage to buildings, including hospitals.
At least one death was initially reported, however the Zagreb children's hospital head Goran Roić later said that efforts were underway to resuscitate a 15-year-old that had been reported to have been killed in the earthquake.
The teenager is in a highly critical condition, he highlighted. Other people have reportedly suffered injuries as well.
Meanwhile, in Slovenia there have been no reports so far about damage in localities closest to the epicentre.
In the border town of Brežice the tremors were strong but Mayor Ivan Molan does not expect damage beyond fallen roof shingles. In nearby Krško there had been no reports of damages either, Mayor Miran Stanko told the STA.
Krško is home to Slovenia's sole nuclear power plant, which is roughly 50 kilometres north-west of Zagreb and hence close to the epicentre.
After conducting a preventive examination of systems and equipment, the power station reported that the earthquake had not caused any damage or any other impact on operations. The power plant is operating normally, said the Nuclear Security Administration, adding that no alarms had gone off during the earthquake.
The Infrastructure Ministry said earlier on Twitter nuclear energy experts were conducting analyses in line with protocols and there was no reason whatsoever for a shutdown.
Following the earthquake, Prime Minister Janez Janša talked to his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković and offered Slovenia's assistance to Croatia. He was joined by Foreign Minister Anže Logar.
President Borut Pahor also expressed his solidarity with Croatia during a phone call with his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović.
Due to the technical problems related to the quake on the Croatian side, border crossings Rigonce, Obrežje and Slovenska Vas have been closed.