At least seven people were killed and scores injured after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck central Croatia on December 29. The quake—the strongest recorded in 140 years—struck just after noon local time about 30 miles southeast of the capital Zagreb, and could be felt across the Balkans. The earthquake led to widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including the region’s largest hospital and a variety of other healthcare-related facilities. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power, and travel has been widely disrupted as officials continue to assess damage to roads, bridges and local airports.
In recent days, the area has suffered from strong aftershocks. On January 6, a 4.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in the same area, with the epicenter near Petrinja, just 4 miles (7 kilometers) west-northwest of the December 29 quake.
Reports indicate significant damages to buildings and homes and possible utility disruptions in Petrinja, Zagreb, and Sisak in Croatia. Slovenia has also shut down power to its nuclear power plant, as a precaution due to the possibility of aftershocks. Some damage to infrastructure has also been reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Within hours of the earthquake, International Medical Corps deployed more than $50,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support Croatian health authorities involved in relief efforts. It also deployed an Emergency Response Team from the Croatia office to conduct an assessment of the damage and critical needs in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and the surrounding villages.
The IMC team is working closely with the Croatian Ministry of Health’s Crisis Management Center to evaluate needs and coordinate opportunities to connect resources with those affected by the earthquake. Based on discussions with the Ministry of Health (MoH), a clear priority is to restore primary healthcare services in the affected region.
IACIPP Regional Director, Robert Mikac, who is actively involved in disaster management and relief in Croatia, is supporting the government response to the disaster.