Seven people, including a 12-year old child have died in the second temblor to hit the country in two days, with tremors felt as far afield as Vienna.
A strong earthquake has hit Croatia, with at least seven people dead and injuries reported as well as considerable damages to roofs and buildings southeast of the capital.
The tremors on Tuesday were felt as far afield as Vienna while the damage was concentrated in and around Petrinja, a town some 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Croatia's capital Zagreb.
Video footage showed people being rescued from the rubble.
Among the dead were a young girl in Petrinja and six people in a nearby village, Croatian police said.
The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said the quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles).
As rescue teams shovelled away bricks and other debris, some elderly residents gathered in a park in downtown Petrinja, wrapped in blankets and afraid to return home.
"All the tiles in the bathroom are broken, all the dishes fell out", Marica Pavlovic, a 72-year-old retired meat factory worker, said regarding the damage to her home.
"Even if we wanted to, we can't go back in, there is no electricity."
READ MORE: Strong quake hits Croatia's capital
'A huge ruin'
Earlier in the day Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said containers would be brought in to house those whose homes remained risky, while military barracks could also take in residents.
"It is not safe to be here, that's clear as day now," Plenkovic said as he took stock of the wreckage in Petrinja, which is home to some 20,000 people.
While officials were tallying the scale of the destruction, Petrinja's mayor Darinko Dumbovic said that a –– luckily empty –– kindergarten was among the buildings that collapsed from the force of the quake.
"The city is actually a huge ruin. We are saving people, we are saving lives. We have dead people, we have missing people, injured people...it is a catastrophe," Dumbovic told national radio earlier in the day.
It was also felt in neighbouring Serbia and Bosnia.
Situacija u Petrinji. pic.twitter.com/EK63mcVofC— Hrvatski Crveni križ (@crvenikriz_hr) December 29, 2020
The earthquake, which hit around 1130 GMT according to the US Geological Survey, rattled Petrinja and the surrounding area just one day after a smaller earthquake struck in the same vicinity, causing some damage to buildings.
Josip Horvat, a 44-year-old artist, said he was fixing a friend's chimney that had been damaged the previous day when Tuesday's tremor struck.
"I grabbed the gutter and I was just praying to God that it ends as soon as possible," he said, lamenting the "disaster" downtown.
Tuesday's quake also shook the capital Zagreb, where panicked residents gathered in the streets as the shocks tore the tiles off roofs.
The tremors reverberated across neighbouring countries, including Serbia and Slovenia, which moved to shut down the Krsko nuclear power plant it co-owns with Croatia out of precaution.
In March, Zagreb's city centre was damaged by a 5.3-magnitude quake, the most powerful to hit the capital in decades.
The Balkan region lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes.