Sunday, 22 March 2020

Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake in northern Croatia.

The Centre Sismologique Euro-Méditerranéen recorded a Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km, roughly 7 km to the northeast of Zhagreb in northern Croatia, slightly before 6.25 am local time (slightly before 5.25 am GMT) on Sunday 22 March 2020. The Earthquake is reported to have caused a number of injuries in Zhagreb, with one fifteen-year-old having died as a result, and damaged a number of buildings across the city. It was felt across most of Croatia and Slovenia, as well as northern Bosnia and Herzogovinia and Serbia, western Hungary and Slovakia, the southern Czech Republic, and eastern Austria and northeastern Italy.

A car crushed by falling debris following an Earthquake near Zhagreb in Croatia on Sunday 22 March 2020. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Croatia, and the other states of the western Balkan Peninsula, forms the eastern margin of the Adriatic Plate, a piece of the African Plate that has broken away and is now wedged into the southern part of the Eurasian Plate. This is being squeezed by the impact of Africa into Europe from the south, which is pushing western Italy, which sits on the Eurasian Plate, to the east, and Greece and Turkey, which sit on the Aegean and Anatolian Plates, to the west. This squeezing leads to uplift around the margins of the Adriatic Plate, in the Apennines Mountain Range of central Italy and the mountain ranges of the west Balkan Peninsula.

  Outline map showing the approximate positions of the Eurasian (EU), Adriatic (AD) and African (AF) Plates. Di Bucci & Mazzuli (2003).

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

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