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Janša, Pahor offer aid to Croatia after quake

Ljubljana, 29 December - Prime Minister Janez Janša spoke with his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković on Tuesday to offer Slovenia's assistance in the relief efforts following a devastating earthquake near Petrinja, south-east of the capital of Zagreb. Solidarity and readiness to help was also expressed by President Borut Pahor.

Petrinja, Croatia
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hits near Petrinja, Croatia.
Photo: Hina/STA

Petrinja, Croatia
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Petrinja, Croatia at the end of December.
Photo: Hina/STA
File photo

Janša added in his post on Twitter that the Slovenian Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration was in the state of alert and was in direct contact with the authorities in Croatia.

President Borut Pahor also announced on Twitter that he had just spoken with Croatian President Zoran Milanović, who is on his way to the affected area. Pahor expressed compassion, solidarity and readiness of Slovenia to help the neighbouring country.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit around midday. The epicentre of the earthquake, which was felt in large swathes of Slovenia, was 46 kilometres south of Zagreb near Petrinja, the epicentre of a 5.2-magnitude earthquake on Monday.

Janša said in a subsequent tweet that, according to the information collected so far, no significant damage had been recorded in Slovenia apart from several damaged facades, church towers and chimneys.

The prime minister also announced on the occasion that a national earthquake response exercise would be organised in 2021.

The Krško Nuclear Power Station, jointly owned by Slovenia and Croatia and located roughly 80 kilometres north-west of Petrinja, was shut down today as a precaution in what is standard procedure in the event of a strong earthquake.

The earthquake was felt in the building of the Slovenian National Assembly as the MPs were holding a session, which was suspended for more than half an hour by Speaker Igor Zorčič.

Some of the MPs left the building, and after they returned, Zorčič told the press that he had certainly felt the tremor, although "I have to admit that for us politicians, the ground is always shaking beneath our feet."

Matjaž Han, the head of the deputy group of the opposition Social Democrats (SD), expressed support for Croatians who are facing such a tragedy amidst holidays. "If we can help them in any way, we should make ourselves available," he added.

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© STA, 2020