A strong earthquake in Croatia destroyed buildings and killed at least seven people Tuesday southwest of the capital, displacing scores of area residents or making them afraid to sleep indoors as emergency teams searched for those still missing by nightfall. The European Mediterranean Seismological Center said the magnitude 6.3 quake hit 28 miles southeast of Zagreb just before 12:20pm local time, the AP reports. It caused widespread damage in the hardest-hit town of Petrinja. The same area was struck by a magnitude 5.2 quake on Monday. Officials said a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja, a town of some 25,000 people. Another six people were killed in nearly destroyed villages close to the town, according to HRT state television.
At least 26 people were hospitalized, six with serious injuries, officials said, adding that many more people remained unaccounted for. In Petrinja, cries could be heard from underneath destroyed houses. One woman was found alive some four hours after the quake. Emergency teams used rescue dogs in the search for survivors, while family members looked on in despair. "My town has been completely destroyed. We have dead children,” Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic said in a statement broadcast by HRT. "This is like Hiroshima—half of the city no longer exists." The earthquake was felt throughout the country and in neighboring Serbia, Bosnia, and Slovenia. In the capital, people ran into the streets in fear.
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