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EU countries rush to offer help to Croatia after earthquake

Christian Fernsby |
The Dutch government has reached out to fellow European Union nation Croatia to offer assistance after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake left at least seven people dead.

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“The Netherlands is ready to support Croatia in dealing with the aftermath of this terrible disaster,” Foreign Minister Stef Block wrote on Twitter.

The country’s “thoughts are with Croatia, the victims, and their families,” he stated.

The earthquake struck at about noon on Tuesday.

The epicenter was near the town of Petrinja, about 45 kilometers southeast of Zagreb, and 35 kilometers north of the Bosnia and Herzegovina border.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday offered Hungary’s support to his Croatian counterpart after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the southern country, the prime minister’s press chief said.

The Czech Republic will send about 5 million crowns worth of equipment to Croatia including tents and sleeping bags, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček announced via Twitter.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Croatian counterpart, Andrej Plenković, have also spoken by phone about possible aid. On Twitter, he wrote, “I am watching horribly sad footage from all over Croatia, which was hit by an earthquake. We are with the Croats and we are ready to send help”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva spoke with her counterpart from Croatia Gordhan Grlic Radman about the devastating earthquake that rocked the Balkans at noon today, the Press Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

"At this difficult moment Bulgaria is ready to stand by our Croatian friends. We're ready to help. I offer my deepest condolences and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," Zaharieva said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has offered assistance to Croatia after a strong earthquake struck the country on Tuesday.

"If we can help in any way, Serbia will help. I am really sorry. We are ready to provide any form of assistance, financial, technical," Vucic said during a visit to Zajecar where he heard the news of the earthquake in Petrinja, Sisak and the surrounding area.

"I wish them to recover and repair all the buildings quickly," he added.

The earthquake, with the epicentre near Petrinja, was also felt in Belgrade.

First aid arrived on the same day from the Republic of Slovenia, the Protection and Rescue Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, around 11 pm.[break]

There are 4 containers, 12 bunk beds with 24 mattresses and 200 sleeping bags, which arrived during the night at the central civil protection warehouse in Jastrebarsko, from where they are transported to the affected areas in accordance with the assessed needs.

In addition to Slovenia, Austria responded to the Croatian request for help: 470 folding beds, Italy: 100 winter tents.

Greece: 40 tents, 50 electric heaters, 500 folding beds, and 500 sleeping bags.

Romania: 50 tents, 100 folding beds, 200 sleeping bags and 14 housing containers.

Sweden: 60 tents and 2000 folding beds, Czech Republic: 2 lamps with protection, 1 balloon lighting tower, 10 electric heaters, 600 folding beds and 1200 sleeping bags.

The government declared January 2 a Day of Mourning in Croatia over those killed in the earthquake.

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