The Croatian capital Zagreb experienced its strongest earthquake in 140 years Sunday, when a 5.3-magnitude tremor was felt in the city and across the Western Balkans.
Buildings were damaged, fires broke out, and multiple people were injured, including a teenager who is reportedly in critical condition, Al Jazeera reports.
While dealing with an earthquake is a huge challenge on its own, Croatia, like the rest of the world is also dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The earthquake struck at a time government was requesting citizens to self quarantine and stay at home to avoid a spread of the virus.
Initially, Croatia’s Interior Minister Davor Božinović told people to remain on the streets out of concern for any aftershocks, but keep a safe distance from each other to avoid any spread of the virus. Croatia currently has 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death.
Up to five people are allowed to be together while keeping a distance.
Health Minister Vili Beros warned people to keep a 2-meter (7-foot) “social distance” as requested by decrees passed by the government in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are 235 coronavirus cases confirmed so far in Croatia.
“Earthquakes are dangerous, but coronavirus is even more so,” Beros said, as people rushed out of their homes to congregate in city parks.