Nuclear plant closed in Slovenia after Croatia’s largest earthquake in decades

At least one child killed and dozens injured by 6.3 magnitude quake

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A nuclear power plant in Slovenia was closed as a precaution on Tuesday after an earthquake hit Croatia, killing a child and injuring dozens of others.

Many buildings were levelled by the 6.3 magnitude quake, Croatia’s largest in 140 years. The army was called in to support rescue efforts as local footage showed children being pulled from the rubble.

The epicentre was at the town of Petrinja, around 50km south of Zagreb, in central Croatia.

“My town has been completely destroyed, we have dead children,” Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic said in a statement broadcast by local network HRT TV. “This is like Hiroshima – half of the city no longer exists.”

“The city has been demolished, the city is no longer liveable,” he said. “We need help.”

Tomislav Fabijanic, the head of emergency medical services in nearby Sisak, said many people had been injured, Reuters reported.

"There are fractures, there are concussions and some had to be operated on," he said.

Tremors could be felt in the Croatian capital, where people rushed out on to the street and debris was strewn across the road, and also in neighbouring Bosnia and Serbia.

Prime Minister Adrej Plenkovic, who arrived at the scene, confirmed that one girl had been killed. "The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here," he said.

On Monday, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit central Croatia, while in March a similar strength quake struck Zagreb, causing one death and injuring 27 people.