Croatia earthquake toll rises to seven as search continues

A search for survivors in Croatia stretched into the night on Dec. 29 after a powerful earthquake killed at least seven people in the country's interior, tearing down rooftops and piling bricks in the streets.

The 6.4-magnitude quake was felt as far afield as Vienna but the heavy damage was concentrated in and around Petrinja, a town of around 20,000 some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Croatia's capital Zagreb.

Rescue teams shoveled away debris in search of victims as night fell after the mid-day tremor, while the European Union announced that more help was on its way.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said late Tuesday that seven victims had been found so far and that there would "probably be more".

Among the dead was a young girl in Petrinja, reported to be 12 years old, and at least five people in a nearby village, according to Croatian police, who said that around 20 people were injured.

Six people were rescued from the rubble with the help of dogs, Croatia's Mountain Rescue Service said.

Many in Petrinja were afraid to return home at night in fear of aftershocks, while damage from the quake left most of the buildings in the downtown area "unfit for use", according to construction experts.

"All the tiles in the bathroom are broken, all the dishes fell out," Marica Pavlovic, a 72-year-old retired meat factory worker, told AFP of the damage to her apartment.

"Even if we wanted to, we can't go back in, there is no electricity," she said, huddled with others in a downtown park, wrapped in blankets.

Some people opted to spend the night in their cars or stay with relatives in other cities, while nearly 200 took shelter in a military barracks.

In the nearby town of Sisak, also badly damaged by the...

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